I've had some discussion, in threads and PMs, about the secret paths people tend to discover once they ditch the car and get out on bikes more.
We discovered that the herndon/reston area of virginia has a level of bike access via multi use paths, rail trails, and greenbelts that rivals a well designed freeway system.
We actually got started in this not by biking, but by geocaching and walking. Davis had some excellent multi use pathways that my then girlfriend (now wife) and I used to wander for fun, and geocaching took us to some fun places you can't get to by car. And I've always been an urban wanderer, walking around in europe and finding the secret ways to get from here to there.
What's your best shortcut? secret route? How do you research new areas when things like googlemaps and mapquest don't show the bike routes?