I have completed the first 8 stages of my plan. I think the reason why I felt so comfortable so quickly was the extended ride I took the day that I first bought the bike. After riding the bike for that long a period of time I felt very comfortable with it and also had a great deal of confidence in my own ability. My son has now started down the path path through my plan. So, if we can pick up or borrow another bike from time to time, I will have a riding partner.