Know Your Bike
(Skagit County, Washington, USA)
I read through the letters of advise, and agree with all of them, although I sometimes wonder about a beginner riding alone. Why? Well, for example, what if the chain comes off? Just an example, and I know more and more bikes have shaft or belt drive, but it's just a "what if".
My point? Know your bike. Know the tire pressure and how to use the gauge. Know how to check the oil level, and if you have chain drive, how to lube and adjust the chain. If they are adjustable, know how to adjust the handlebars and foot-pegs so they are comfortable for you. Some rear shocks adjust--do you know how to adjust them? The more you know about your bike, the better it will treat you, and the more fun you'll have. My friend Jan even rebuilt her own spoked wheels! (And a year ago she'd never worked on a bike!)
So I'd suggest having a manual for your bike, and reading it, ideally during bad weather when you can't ride. When it is time to change the tire, don't be afraid to take the wheel off and take it into the dealer. It will give you confidence in case you have a flat tire on the road, and will save you money at the dealer (they charge for the time to dismount the wheel). And go from there. If that's your comfort level, great! If you find yourself wanting to build an engine, go for it! (We can do anything!!)