almost all of this is great advice.
i gotta agree with the people preaching maintenance.. i also preach a good knowledge of your suspension. if youre gonna push it, learn it... and tire pressure, tire pressure, tire pressure. 5lbs could mean the difference in traction and no traction... especailly for some of you folks who are heavy handed.
having the nickname crash, its pretty obvious how i earned it. and not just doing dumb shit. sometimes, no matter how safe you play it... shit just happens. when the shit does happen... its always good to have your safety net in place. emergency braking techniques, gear, and keeping your wits about you will all save your life or skin at one point or another.
and for chrissakes, if youve never ridden the road before, slow the hell down.