On a sunny Bendigo winter's morning before the last round of COVID lockdowns, Peter the "pilot" and Alan the "stoker" set out to enjoy the day.
What were they each doing?
Was Peter heading to the airport to fly a plane?
Was Alan actually a train enthusiast about to fire up a steam loco at Maldon?
No, they'd teamed up for the day on one of Alan's collection of tandems to ride to Axedale and back on the O'Keefe Rail Trail.
In tandem parlance, Peter is the pilot and Alan the stoker, and together they form a team that relies on trust and good communication.
A vision impairment has not stopped Alan Roberts from enjoying his passion for riding.
But though he had a lovely collection of bikes, he needed a sighted companion to join him.
So, some time ago the call was put out for someone willing to join Alan on regular rides, and Peter Hill from Castlemaine stepped up.
Before COVID restrictions, Peter arrived in Bendigo every Tuesday to join the TT riders on their circuits around the region and often rode with Alan on one of his tandems.
On this particular winter day, Alan had chosen an off-road bike.
After some important final checks to make sure that the bike was in full readiness for the day's ride, they set off from Lake Weeroona.
Peter doesn't just pilot the bike.
And there's plenty to share when you're immersed in the natural environment along the rail trail, safe and a long way from highway traffic.
The trail continues to Heathcote, but that day's turn around point was Axedale and a rail trail ride there is not complete without a rest stop at the Axedale Tavern for coffee and cake where there's easy parking for a tandem.
Later, with the ride over and the pair back in Bendigo, they noted that their total ride time had been two hours and 15 minutes at an average speed of 19.6 kilometres per hour. Peter described the day as a fantastic ride.
"The trail was very well sign posted in both directions, and the people we met made us welcome.
"The track surface is very good plus wide enough for safe passing."
"The tavern's service was excellent, the coffee enjoyed, and the staff were very friendly.
"This ride had me truly feeling alive and I hope that we can do it again soon."