A long-time Thunder Bay cyclist is speaking out after a tragic accident killed a married couple from eastern Ontario on a highway near Nipigon this week.

Dave Pinner said the most important message for drivers is to slow down and be patient when approaching someone on a bicycle.

'There's probably 5 per cent of drivers that are completely clueless.' —Thunder Bay cyclist Dave Pinner

"Motorists need to remember that when they see a cyclist, that's a life on a bike," he said. "That's a person."

Pinner says it's also important for cyclists to be smart by doing things like wearing bright clothing, and keeping to the right side of the road.

For the most part, he does feel safe biking on the highway, he said. Based on his own experience, he noted 90 per cent of drivers are excellent. They give riders plenty of room, slow down and wait for a good time to pass.

But a minority are aggressive and think they own the road, and some people also just make bad judgments while driving, he added.

"There's probably 5 per cent of drivers that are completely clueless."

For cyclists travelling on a busy road, it makes the most sense to ride single file, Pinner said. However, with a really big group he sometimes recommends riding two abreast, because it tightens the group, and makes it easier for drivers to pass. And it makes it easier for a vehicle to see the riders as they are approaching.  

"Just slow down and be patient," he said as a caution to drivers.

"I think a lot of people get caught up in their own day, and they become really aggressive when they're on the road. And they need to realize that if you just brake a little bit or if you ease off on the throttle, [it]can be enough time to keep from making a potentially dangerous situation fatal."