One of the holy grails of bike commuting is "mapquest, but for bikes." My map isn't quite that good (and seriously, if anyone knows to make it run faster or get rid of those three >>> on the top right, it would be much appreciated) but it was an attempt to fill the void between online mapping for cars and what there is for bikes - which isn't much. There's mapmyrun.com, which works well enough - though it has a few quirks unique to runners. It also suffers from the same problem as my map - namely that too many points will cause it to crash (see this ride that I tried to create)
More recently, I was pointed to bikely.com, which seems like mapmyrun for bikes, but without the ability to add markers. Still, that's a step up. In fact, I like so much I'll add it to the tools section on this blog.
Funding was recently given to The University of North Carolina's Highway Safety Research Center to renew the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Clearinghouse. They run the pedbikeinfo.org site, which in turn hosts the bicyclinginfo.org site. It's a pretty good site, but they don't do much to address the route issue.
WABA tried to create a mentor program, by which experienced cyclists would ride with people who wanted to bike to work and show them a preferred route; but it was either too hard to manage or too sparsely used and it's now defunct.
Ideally I'd like to see the DC area do something like what's happening in, where else, the Netherlands. Thousands of cyclists teamed up, a la Wikipedia, Linux, Firefox etc... and using GPS receivers created a route planner. I can't figure it out, my Dutch is rusty, but the article makes it sound fantastic.
Unless someone wants to set something like this up, I suggest we just use the bejeezus out of bikely. My one annoyance, to heck with creativity, the naming convention should be standardized. Something like <Start Zip or Neighborhood> <Start City, State> to (<End Zip or Neighborhood> <End City, State (if different)> or <Loop>) for <Experience level> - <Distance>. So for example