I thoroughly enjoyed the bike tour through Atlanta with our class - it's always exciting to bike as a group. I started biking in Atlanta last year between school and work, and was able to use the cycle track on Peachtree Center Ave. on part of my commute. I consider myself to be somewhere in between in the "Interested but Concerned" and "Enthused and Confident" groups. What I've learned is that when I'm confident in the actions I take as a cyclist (i.e. take the full lane), then (most) drivers leave me alone. The bike tour was the first time I had cycled in Atlanta in several months, so I was able to notice and appreciate minor improvements that have been made to the bicycle network over the short period (i.e. repaving of Edgewood - HUGE improvement for cyclists!).
Of course my awareness was heightened when we were cycling on unprotected facilities (on-street lanes) rather than on the BeltLine, and certainly when we were around the freeway. I also had some concern about riding on a Friday afternoon, as I know that drivers tend to be more careless during this time (leaving work early & anxious to start the weekend). Overall, I was surprised at how leisurely and enjoyable our ride was - I did not ever feel unsafe or in danger.
The entire street design in the Netherlands video couldn't be more different than the in the US. Cycling in the Netherlands is obviously perceived as second nature - why would you drive? Americans ask the exact opposite - why would I bike? Its convenient and easy to drive!
Especially in videos 3 & 4, I made several mental notes about the cycle lane design. First - I noticed there were very few driveways or side streets that intersected with the path. Second - the building store fronts were close to the street (no sea of parking in front, as in the US). Second - I also noted there was relatively little signage, signaling, or paint on and along the path. It seemed as if the rules of the road were intuitive; the infrastructure made them apparent. Third - for left hand turns, cyclists never have to enter the vehicle traffic. A left turn like that in the US (protected left) is seen as luxury, rather than standard.
A few additional thoughts: 1) Very few people use hand signals or wear helmets; 2) There weren't many pedestrians; 3) The street was so quiet; and 4) I wonder if right-of-way issues arose when the country was reconstructing its bicycle routes.