I haven't done it in a while but the super short is for the elder gents - like Otto, one of the originals on the ride, he's like 70 something.
Short is for Cat 5-4 and very weak 3s (me). One hill that's like 150 meters long. Some steady slight uphill grades. Nothing serious. Figure steady 22-24, bursts up to 35-40, adjust for grade.
Long is for fit Cat 4s, 3-1. First set of hills ("Steps") is about a mile or two of repeated short climbs. Second set of hills is a more drawn out steady mile or so. I never make it to the top with the group on this one (third step seems to kill me). I take a shortcut with everyone else who gets dropped. Then it's the same route to the finish as the Short ride, including the short climb. Steady 22-26, bursts up to 35-40, adjust for grade.
If you can ride in a tight field, rub elbows, and not think it's a big deal, you'll be reasonably comfy. If you can touch wheels, know how not to brake too hard when it gets sketchy, and feel secure enough to move up or ease up, you'll be fine.
Note - the "undulating circuitous climb" mentioned bends left as it starts, then bends right. And it's 150 meters long. Or shorter. This blew the author's errr I don't remember the word but I basically take anything I see written by that person with a grain of salt.
Great. I sat with the "slow" group, which is 19-21 mph, and a pretty easy pace to hold on too. Gimbels is now my weekly Sunday hammerfest. Last week I "attacked" (in parenthesis because the slow ride has no attacks) and was OTF, solo for a good part of the time, pretty much until we regroup and spin the rest of the way.
I'm getting faster. I'll be able to do the regular ride sooner than later. It will be a good time.