Some time ago I decided that my test for recombent competance would be when I could ride from my condo to the biker bar in Defiance for breakfast. I did that this morning. It's a fairly easy 34 mile out and back ride except that the first two miles is all downhill meaning the last two miles up Jungs Station Road is a grind.
It's taken a lot longer than I thought it would to get to this point. I had to figure out how to assemble the recumbent, figure out what the riding position should be like and how to get it there, and I had to learn to ride a recumbent after a prolonged period off of the bike. It surprised me how difficult stupid little things, like learning to use a hydration pack, can be when I'm trying to think about other stuff, like how close to my chest I'd like for my hands to be. Eventually however, and one issue at a time, I think that I've got it solved. Now it's just a fitness issue and I know how to regain that.
Knowing what I do now, however, my only regret is that I didn't start recumbent riding sooner. I think that my peak speed is a little slower, but I think that I'm faster cruising on the flat and I think that my hill climb speed is about the same as it was previously. There is utterly no comparison comfort wise and I feel much fresher at the end of the ride.
I'm not ready to claim the Screaming Yellow Zonker tandem has been tamed quite yet but I'm steadily gaining confidence. It'll come.