The temps at the lower elevations yesterday were in the upper 80s to 90, so I decided to go a bit higher for my weekly climbing. I picked a trail I've never been on before, Fleming Meadows. This is at the bottom of Mormon Emigrant Trail, which is actually a road, not a trail.
I rode this trail in a counterclockwise direction, which gives you a nice climb for about two miles. It gets steeper at the start of the singletrack.
I caught up to three equestrians at the beginning of a singletrack descent, so I hung back a little and followed at what I thought was a proper safe distance. When they stopped in the middle of the trail, I stopped. That's when the last rider noticed me and said "Oh my God you're right behind us". Then she said "You're lucky our horses are okay with bikes".
Now maybe I'm wrong, but to me her tone of voice made it sound like she was peeved that I was there, and that she thought I was too close to the horses.
They pulled over a short time later and I thanked them as I passed. This is the first time I have had any kind of questionable encounter with equestrians. I don't know anything about horses other than to yield to them and try to stay out of their way, so if I did something wrong on yesterday's ride I really didn't mean to.
When I finished the loop I rode the initial 1.5 mile climb up Mormon Emigrant Trail, which levels off and turns into a descent. As I climbed I kept hearing gunshots, so when I reached the top I got out my point-and-shoot and took a little video. I wish I had my new Zoom Q3 with me yesterday, as it records in stereo and the echo of the gunshots richocheted off the mountainsides for several seconds after the shots were fired. It would have sounded even better in stereo.
Fleming Meadows by freighttraininguphill at Garmin Connect - Details
Here's the ride video. You can see and hear my encounter with the equestrians and judge for yourself starting at 5:57. As with all my videos, this one is 100% natural sound. That means plenty of female cyclist suffer sounds on the climbs, so be forewarned!
Fleming Meadows MTB ride 4-22-12 - YouTube
Here's the video of the gunshots, with plenty of bird sounds mixed in.
Here's a screenshot from the video as I came to a stop behind the equestrians.
View of the snow-capped Sierras from the bottom of Mormon Emigrant Trail at Jenkinson Lake.
"YOUR GPS IS WRONG!!!" warning sign near the bottom of Mormon Emigrant Trail (screenshot from helmet-mounted ContourHD). This road is not plowed in the winter.
Trailhead at the gravel area I parked in. The picture doesn't show just how steep this trail is. I'll have to check it out someday.