So I'm back and guess what. I'm alive from my short (approx 1mi) ride. Had to force myself to lean with the bike on the turns, noticed I was leaning the bike under me on my first corner. Also, leaning too much on my arms, and almost focused on the guardrail but caught myself. So how'd I do?
EDIT: One thing I just realized I was doing, my upshifts are very lurchy. Is this normal for starting out?
You did great! Just as Setanta says, your shifting will come with experience.
As for almost touching the guard rail, look through the turn
and you sort of naturally fall into the apex of the turn. Trust yourself. You had no trouble doing it in a car or bicycle so it will come on the bike. Just experience and practice.
As for leaning the bike, nobody even HAS to lean it but you will and the bike will want to, to make the turn smoothly. When I ride in the rain or when there's frost, I barely lean at all. When it's dry, it just feels natural to lean. Comes with practice, no special secrets.
Sounds like you've gotten the hang of controlling the bike and not the other way around.
Now all you do is find every chance you get to ride and try things in a safe place. Learn to ride really slow as well. The control you get there will make the fast stuff so much easier. Riding fast is easy, any idiot can do it - look on youtube
, riding controlled and smoothly is lifelong learning - and freakin' fun!
Welcome to the rest of your life!