I just got back from your neck of the woods. Slept in your fine city and cruised the Cabot trail. You are one lucky guy to live there and own a motorcycle.
As far as being a new rider my best advice is to never try to keep up with anyone. Go at your own pace and with some time in the saddle your skills will improve on there own. A riders course is a good idea too.
I am really glad you liked our woods. Most of us appreciate where we live with or without a bike. This year it seems though like every "bluenoser" got himself a bike. Thank you for your kind words, and I will certainly take your advise...Ride on!!!!