Out of respect for the commuting folks I'm posting this here, since I had nowhere I needed to be and was off-road most of the time. Still, I was surprised by how comfortable I felt in traffic and how well my bike worked compared to my neighborhood tests. Hopefully this all wasn't just because the scenery was new....
I spent most of my time exploring local parks and trails, which was fun and relaxing. By the time I made it home I was SPENT and nearly suffering from heat stroke! Thank goodness for: A. Natural air conditioning (wind) and B. Sunscreen!
A couple of picturesque moments came when I was in our largest park and stopped two times for a rest. The first had my bike supported, upright, by a low bench, and the second by a tree with a background view of the Rocky Mountains. I guess only cyclists can appreciate the emotional effect of seeing your bike in such an environment and knowing it brought you there.
I credit my success in traffic (hardly the most challenging of traffic, but still....) to the discussions here, to my state's bike manual, and to the below two links:
Let's hope it stays this way!