I used to ride, but gave it up. Sold my last bike when I was at Ft. Polk, LA.
I had decided that I didn't want to have deployed 4 times to 2 different war zones, just to return home and be killed on my bike because of impatient and unattentive ar drivers. I also lived down a dangerous rode where loggind trucks and cars sped their asses off (a logging truck had killed a family in a car about 2 months before I got to Ft. Polk on that road) as if they were on a straight and flat highway!
It wasn't worth it to me anymore. But I did enjoy riding when I did ride. Have fun with it, but please don't become like alot of riders and you become the danger in the road. You know what I mean, weaving in and out of traffic, passing illegally, speeding and doing wheelies because you think its cool (saw a guy do that and dumbed his bike with his girlfriend on the back...it was an ugly scene!) But it sounds like you're getting a cruiser not a crotch rocket (I assume this because of the group you ride with. Most of those groups are mainly cruiser guys that I've seen).
So have fun and be safe!