i just read the following about bents:
Starting is much harder . . ., partly because you cannot push off with the leg that is already as far back as it can go. All you can do is push hard on the one pedal. Getting your toe into the clip is possible if you have fitted a friction device (half a tennis ball does the trick) to the bottom of the pedal so you can flip it to the correct position. On climbs the recumbent is a dog. . . . Because of the problems with starting, though you may be able to climb a reasonable hill slowly on a recumbent, you cannot start on such a hill, even ith all your strength. Even if the hill is so gentle that you can start, you still have problems. Once I rode uphill for over a mile with one foot out of the clip because I couldn't get it in while turning the low gear fast enough, and couldn't stop pedaling because I'd fall over. I'm not unskillful, and half of my riding is on fixed gear or tandem, which both require getting your foot in and out of moving pedals. Finally, there is no way you can see which rear cog you are using, and with a machine that depends for climbing success on spectacularly accurate shifting of the front three and the rear six that is a fatal deficiency. You can easily stall out in the wrong gear and find [y]ourself unable to start again.
Forester, John, Effective Cycling, 6th ed., p. 75.
I'd like to hear from the experienced riders here how they respond.