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Air Mail 200!

Red recounts a day out on his 4th 200. He told me he didn’t finish writing it but I discovered he did June 2024 two weeks after he died. Ride in Peace Red xx

At the start of the day, I lay in bed thinking about the day ahead and I set the plan in stone. I felt nervous and excited about doing my 4th 200km ride. I had an early start that morning, getting up about 5:30am. I got into my cycling clothes and brushed my teeth to start the big day. We had eggs on toast for breakfast. After breakfast, we prepared to get on the bikes and took about 15 minutes to get ready. Finally, we got on the bikes and here we GO!

When we got to Stapleton, I had the weirdest thing ever, which was a fake puncture. I was completely overwhelmed and bewildered at this weird and baffling problem. However, Daddy spent about 10 minutes trying to fix the bewildering problem, when there was none but we did not know that until daddy found nothing in my wheel. I thought “Oh for goodness sake, hurry up!” So, after that, we set off properly this time.

I was thinking about birds of prey and wondering what we would see on the first few km. I kept a steady pace of 20 – 25 kph from start to finish of the stupendous ride with hills which will help! It was around the first 10km that my brain really started to turn on and focus on the ride (obviously it was still very early for me). When it had turned on, I was as ready as an eagle about to take to the skies and hunt it’s opponent.

I thought it would be a lovely day due to bright, blue skies, maybe a few showers but it would turn out there were none!

We were on the flat until Wotton-under-Edge which meant fast speeds. I did not see any wildlife that interested me until W-u-E, where I saw an unusually early Common buzzard and a woodpecker calling through the trees.

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As we went up into the Cotswolds, I was enjoying the stunning scenery that the Cotswolds had to offer when a sense of recognition hit my brain. It was the area where daddy fixed my puncture on end of the lines 130 and soon realised that the valley that time forgot was coming up when we exited the trees. The valley was unique. It almost felt like I was on the top of a high hill with the valley down below which looked like a paradise. It was cold because I was still in coat, fleece, leggings, and a trough had frozen over. I spotted a plane that was gliding but unfortunately I don`t know what type. Then we passed a wall that stoats live in. Daddy saw one a couple weeks before I started the ride.

I was enjoying myself when we saw 2 soaring buzzards just after Daglingworth. It was just stupendous up in the Cotswolds, as is the entire route. At this point I knew I could do it. I decided to continue because whatever you do, you will most likely be cold on a cold morning like this. There were more buzzards and red kites from now on. Then we finally got to the 1st big stop, Bourton-on-the-Water.

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We stopped in town that was swarming with people for a bacon bap from the bakery. We sat by the river and devoured them. Daddy asked me if I wanted my head wetted so he lifted me up by my feet to dangle my head in the water. Some people looked at me and wondered ‘what is going on?’. When we continued there was the 2nd biggest climb during the day (gradual this time not steep). Halfway up there was a tap in the wall at Little Rissington where we refilled the water bottles. The top was a few hundred metres away now and then we could enjoy a nice down hill split into two parts and into the valley where we stopped in Chaddlington for tea and cake.

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Next, we turned south and went up another hill. About halfway up, we saw 2 Red kites and a buzzard. 1 of the red kites dived to the ground for prey then the buzzard dived for the kite. It was very odd to see this happen. It was like the buzzard wanted to eat the kite. Buzzards don`t eat kites but it still felt that way. Soon after that sighting we went through some shady ancient woodland which gave a moment for my head to cool down as it had got warmer than earlier.

Out of the woods, there were MORE Red kites. I thought they had really taken over Oxfordshire, which they have. “Nope humans, we rule”-Red kite. But Wales is kite swarming so go there if you want to see Red kites!

Red kite on Air Mail 200!

At 125kms, in Burford, Daddy got a spectacular photo of a Red kite with its black and white patches, and red tail which gives it it`s name. It was then very easy and fast for 50kms to Malmesbury. This was good news in my opinion because energy was being taken away from me at around 150kms in. We had a quick food stop at Cerney Wick where we had some pasta leftovers because my legs were killing me. 7kms was spent by the Cotswold water park which was the flattest of the day which didn`t even have a hill that goes up 15 metres, bizarre…

Just outside Malmesbury, we saw a Red kite which perched in a tree. I found out a couple weeks beforehand that Red kites only perch when they can not find food gliding and soaring. What is going on with kites and buzzards today? I don`t know but I will let them sort themselves out. Out of 9 years of living for me and 43 years of living for Daddy, we have never seen this happen! After Malmesbury, we saw a poor dead female kestrel by the road with wings in diving position. Daddy had seen it last week during the event and reported it. He didn`t know where it was so when we found it and then Daddy took a photo to send to the wildlife police officer so he could track it down.

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It was now the start of the super gradual climb to Tormarton which feels flat but actually goes up. This made it easy for me. Then downhill back into the Severn valley and then downhill again to the edge of Bristol. It`s nearly done! I was tired, warm and pizza-eager to get home. It was an easy end along the cycle path & Daddy phoned G Bros Pizza because I really wanted a pizza but it was too busy so we got an Eastern Taste curry instead.

By the end of the day I was as hot as a volcano due to the heat. I was somebody who had walked 1000kms in day because of being really shattered. I tried to go to bed as quickly as lightning that night. Usually brushing teeth and getting into pyjamas takes forever. I dozed off in a matter of minutes and then it was completely done. I had done what I felt nervous about at the start.

By the end of the day I was really tired and I`m only 9 years old so I think it is impressive I can do something like this. What an amazing April 200 I thought to myself. We had Eastern taste instead due to how busy G Bros is. I had dinner and eventually put pyjamas on and brushed teeth. Then slumped into bed for a good night`s sleep. I had done what I felt nervous about at the start. [*Will – humble Red replaced this last paragraph with the one above.]

In perpetual memory of my amazing son.

Rufus Odin Borneo Pomeroy
2011 – 2024

You will forever be in my heart, my Limpet, my Red the Rocket, my Pickle, my Admiral Red, my Stinky Fart Bum Brain Head, my Rufus – I miss you terribly – Daddy XX.

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2 replies on “Air Mail 200!”

At a complete loss for words. Your pain must be immeasurable. I feel honoured to have validated Red’s RRtY. Sarah

What an absolutely wonderful read. Such an expected insight into his world in this poignant moment. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all. Tons xx

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