- Cadence: Learn to spin at a cadence that works well for you. For casual riding, the range I've seen is 80-100 and for higher performance, 90-110 or higher. Over the years I've ended up being most comfortable around 90 rpms for distance riding.
- Group skills: If you're interested in riding with groups, it's never too early to start. Beginning group rides will help you learn not only how to ride in a group, but you'll make new friends and there will often be people who can help you with overall riding skills.
- Basic bike care: All the little things you can do to keep your bike running in tip-top shape. If you can learn to adjust your brakes and shifting, keep the wheels trued, and proper cleaning and lube of everything, such as the chain, your bike will be more pleasant to ride and it'll save you down time of having to take it to the shop to fix a minor problem.
Edit: And one final thing, there is no such thing as a "pointless ride through the countryside". I live for countryside rides.