7) Being assertive
This is important when cycling on ordinary roads, but on routes like the www.eurovelo6.org and www.kartographie.de (an amazing mostly traffic free route from the Atlantic at St. Nazaire, France, to the Black Sea, Romania), you are able to forget the busy world and manic cars. But watch out for the Lycra-clad ‘Furters being more than frank with cries of “ACHTUNG” on the Danube section in Germany.
Every four or five days, leave the bike alone, and, if you can, stay with the locals. That makes it easier, as you can then enter their world. Even if they don’t adventure-cycle, they probably have other interest and passions.
I belong to www.servasbritain.org, a wonderful way to meet people.