Apologies for wall of text. The TL;DR is I got my bike home safely and loved doing it after some initial nerves. I just got my brand new Honda home from the dealer tonight. I was pretty confident when we were still up the road from the dealer, but started getting nervous when we got in the carpark. I'm planning on getting a beginner set of gear from Aldi on Saturday, so I'd borrowed some gear from a temoprarily bikeless rider friend. There was no way his boots were going to fit, so I bought a cheap pair of RSTs for the ride home. My friend left so I wasn't worried about being watched, and while I let the bike warm up I started to think I wouldn't be able to do it - it had been two and a half weeks since I got my permit, which was the last time I'd ridden. I started small, playing with the friction zone a bit, which gave me some confidence to take off. I decided to spend some time doing laps of the back roads of the industrial area. As 'I don't know if I can do this' went through 'Maybe I can do this' to 'I might be able to do this', I eventually decided that I couldn't put it off any more. The original plan was to take the freeway all the way back as I was going inbound, against traffic, but I decided to be a bit cautious and go a bit out of my way to take backroads. The first time pulling into traffic was a little thrill, but I got the feel for it quicker than I thought I would. The CB500X handles nicely enough that I wasn't thinking about the maneuvering at all, which was lucky because I was nervous about braking and downshifting. Braking went fine, and I started trying to blip the throttle on downshifts but fumbled it a few times and went back to slowly letting the clutch out as I braked. I never thought I'd say this, but I really appreciated having a slow car in front of me - no one wanted my gap, and it was a two lane road so no one tailgated too badly. About halfway home I decided that the freeway would have been fine, but I was happy I'd gone the back way as it gave me more practice riding smoothly and taking intersections. I only had two minor traffic issues. One ute tried to overtake me on a merge at the exit of a roundabout, and I would have had to brake too sharply for my tastes to get behind him, so I rolled on the throttle and made a quick gear change which put me up to the speed limit pretty quickly and put a nice gap between us. I stuck to the speed limit and didn't have any more problems. I was sympathetic because I know I was taking the approach to intersections fairly cautiously, but I didn't have a safer 'out'. One person tried to pull out in front of me, but then they saw me and stopped in the middle of the road. I saw them from a fair way back, and it was through the Altona shopping strip so I was already only doing 30km/h and it didn't bother me at all - I waved them on and followed them out at a nice distance. I can't ride tomorrow due to a going away party which I'll drive to, so my next ride will be on the way to Saturday practice. It's not quite a 'Journey from newbie to intermediate' story, but it's enough for me.