Join Date: Jan 2001
Bikes: Specialized Stumpie, Bianchi Pista, Optima Baron
Hard to balance? Not really - maybe a 5-10 minute learning curve is all it takes to be steady, and perhaps a week or two to be really confident with handling.
Falling/crashing? Yes, I've done both, but it was due to not clipping out fast enough from the clipless pedals than to the laid-back position. I've crashed on my MTB, too, for the same reason. Difference was: on my recumbent I fell all of 16 inches down to the pavement (you can guess how bad the fall was on the upright MTB!) I'm familiar with road rash!
No, I can't jump off my recumbent like my MTB and I don't have the advantage of body English to hop curbs and other obstructions. I do find that in an emergency stop, if I just drop a leg off the cranks fast enough I can usually avoid going down (easier to do, of course, if you're using platforms) - and I'm still seated!
On the other hand, banking steeply into a really fast turn under full spin is unlike any upright biking experience, believe me! Riding my recumbent has actually improved my balance and turning abilities on my MTB.
I feel like I'm getting the best of both worlds!
I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
Good night and joy be with you all.