Welcome to the forum, George. You've found the right place to share this amazing hobby.
As for safety? The best, very best suggestion that we can offer is to "Ride as if you're invisible". Never assume that drivers will see or react to you. Pretend that they're blind to bicycles and you'll stay out of harms way.
Good luck, ride safe.
Age and Treachery Will Always Triumph
Over Youth and Skill & "Charlie Don't Ride"