I started out on two different Honda Shadows. They tend to be as rock solid for the newbie, as a Yamaha Accoustic guitar. Ride it till it dies!!
I’ve spent a LOT of time in the Akron area, and only passed thru Columbus once. I’m sure you find riding friends. Do a cursory search for a riding club in your area that you think should be reasonable. The CMA club’s are a great way to Network, should you be caught out in the boonies somewhere. Reputable, trustworthy bunch, for the most part.
Speaking of breaking down.......don’t forget the universal symbol of distress, “laying your helmet on the road next to your bike.” You’d be surprised how many riders recognize that symbol, and will stop to see if they can help!!
Some of the most crusty-looking riders have been the most friendly and helpful folks I have ever met!!
I grew up down in Columbus. Gahanna to be exact. Now I'm up in akron but I still venture down there cuz my parents are still there. There are a bunch of bikers down in that area so I'm sure you have or will find a good group