I've had three more bike rides in the past week.
Last weekend, I took another trip to Silver Spring (light blue path). On the way there, I tried a partial shortcut. While the full shortcut will undoubtedly save 1.5-2 miles, the partial shortcut was longer. On the way back, I went the "long" way and didn't get lost, and it was only 8.4 miles. The full shortcut should bring this under 7.
On Thursday, I was testing out the start of a path to work, and I ended up making it as far as the Greenbelt Marriott (green path). The on-road biking was a little bit dicey. I think next time I can go via Rhode Island Avenue and have a calmer experience. On the way, there, I saw a deer cross the Indian Creek Trail and head into the Indian Creek.
Today I decided to head to Takoma Park (red path, mostly overlapping with the light blue path). That ended up being 7.6 miles, not incredibly shorter than the Silver Spring trip. I enjoyed some ice cream and then headed back.