Most bicyclists are benign. They keep to themselves and respect auto traffic. And then there is the "Gimbel’s Ride". A group of 20-60 or so hyper-competitive bicyclists, they blow through Rye on Saturdays and Sundays usually between 11am and 12 noon.
If you drive down Theodore Fremd, Old Post Road or the Boston Post Road during this hour and have been cut-off by twenty plus guys in spandex, it’s the "Gimbel’s Ride". They are riding hell bent, ignoring red lights and traffic because they have just cycled all over the county and are racing towards the "finish line" — the Rye / Mamaroneck town line on Route 1.
According to Roadbikereview.com, the ride started 30-40 years ago and to this day originates at the Cross County Mall in Yonkers, where there was once a Gimbel’s department store. A post on the web site provides this description:
"Don’t look for a Gimbel’s at Cross County Mall; it became a Stern’s some time back. (I don’t know what its called now, since I join the ride several miles north.)
100 riders sounds high. Maybe it has reached that number at some point, but it certainly starts off with fewer (maybe 50 on a good-weather, no-race early summer weekend) with additional riders joining at various points as it heads up Route 100 (Central Park Avenue) through White Plains, and up Route 22 past the Kensico dam in North White Plains. Pace is easy up to the dam, with everyone socializing, checking out new equipment, making excuses for poor race performances etc.
Riders are a mix of active racers (Cat. 2’s through 5’s, Masters, Women), wannabe/has-beens (yours truly), and even occasional newbies. Some of us try to be courteous and helpfull to strangers(despite our natural inclinations), but we almost never stop for anyone’s flats/mechanicals, and only grudgingly for crashes.
On Rte. 22 just south of Armonk, the first split occurs, right onto Rte. 120 South, "American Can Hill". (I think American Can Corporate HQ is gone to, but this is veering into a discussion of real estate history, which would be tedious even over at Non-Cycling Discussions, so I’ll stop.) This is the shortest option.
I mile or two further up 22, the real significant split occurs; continue up 22, or turn left up Rte. 120 North.
I would recommend fit, experienced riders new to Gimbels take the Rte. 22 option; Rte. 120 North starts with a series of stairstep hills that causes many newbies to drop off, and the pace remains hard throughout, so unless you’re with an experienced companion, you may find yourself alone in the wilds of Westchester. Its pretty, but probably not the ride you had in mind.
The group rides conclude in Rye/Mamaroneck, with a sprint on US 1; from there smaller groups ride at recovery pace back to their origins. (NYC riders have the option of riding New Haven trains home from here as well.) Rte. 22 group gets in to Rye about 11:00; Rte. 120 North group gets in 30 to 45 minutes later, depending on route and pace. Budget another 45 minutes to ride back to Cross County if that’s where you’re parked."