I'm from Vancouver, WA, which is right across the river from Portland, Oregon. I've commuted to bus stops for a number of years. Recently I started skipping the bus and riding all the way home. To my surprise it really has rejuvinated my interest in cycling. Each week its fun to experience the improvment. Hills that were once a pain, I barely notice. I look forward to the coming weeks and seeing what else happens.
Jaybett, the Portland/Vancouver area is an awesome area to ride and commute by bicycle. I visited there last November and their bike lanes are to be envied by many other cities. There are several bike clubs around and would suggest that you check some of them out. I think one Vancouver club has around 600 members. They are always helpful and provide a network of education, rides, and events that support cycle enthusiasts.