On my ride to work on Thursday, just after I passed the entrance to the trail and before I noticed my mistake, I passed a man even older than me on a recumbent bike. We waved as we passed like we were two guys riding Harleys.
After I realized my mistake and found my way to the trail, I started thinking about the odds of running into another recumbent bicyclist. I wasn’t sure if seeing one on an eleven mile trip was good or bad. It occurred to me then that I saw very few people on bicycles, including on the bike trail. I estimated the number between five and ten.
That seemed strange because I recently lived in Dunedin, on the causeway that leads to Honeymoon Island. There, the Pinellas Trail crosses very close and even has an extension along the causeway. We had to be very careful every time we drove because there was a steady stream of pedestrians and cyclists. In contrast, I saw only one bicycle rider on the portion of the Upper Tampa Bay Trail that I was on.
On the way home I decided to count. I saw two cyclists on the trail and four more off the trail. That is just over one for every two miles traveled. Why is north-west Tampa so bike-free compared to west Pinellas County? I understand the appeal of the Pinellas Trail but does nobody own a bike in Tampa?