Cat's eyes

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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661-Pete
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Cat's eyes

Postby 661-Pete » 25 Jun 2013, 9:10am

I mean those lumpy things in the middle of the road, not the brand of cycle accessories...

Having nearly been scuppered by one of these things while negotiating a tricky T-junction yesterday, I was set to wondering, are they really necessary on 21st century roads? Most other countries seem to manage quite well without them.

Originally invented in the 1930s, they came into their own during the blackouts of WW2 when cars were forced to use masked headlights with only a narrow slit through which light could shine. But we've moved on somewhat since those times.

I have had problems with cat's eyes before, especially in the wet. Not been brought down by one yet, but I'm sure there are some cyclists who have.

Thoughts?
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Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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tyred
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby tyred » 25 Jun 2013, 9:17am

I like them tbh.

LollyKat
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby LollyKat » 25 Jun 2013, 9:21am

So do I. If like me you live in an area where even A roads are twisty and, in the country, unlit, cat's eyes are are a big help.

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squeaker
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby squeaker » 25 Jun 2013, 9:22am

tyred wrote:I like them tbh.
+1, as they make night time driving 'easier' - ah.... maybe not such a good idea then?
"42"

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Si
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby Si » 25 Jun 2013, 9:24am

The new version do seem to deviate your steering much more than the old version. Although a bike wasn't normally heavy enough to make the old version disappear into the road, the 'casing' around it had a more forgiving profile when hit with a cycle wheel IME.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby [XAP]Bob » 25 Jun 2013, 10:01am

I've never hit one as far as I know...

When driving at night I like them, although they're not essential they give me much more attention to look out for other things, and are much less tiring. When cycling at night the same applies - they reflect my headlight back very nicely, and make it much easier to follow the road - even after some idiot in an audi has come past and put full beams on *just* before passing me...
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james01
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby james01 » 25 Jun 2013, 10:02am

squeaker wrote:
tyred wrote:I like them tbh.
+1, as they make night time driving 'easier' - ah.... maybe not such a good idea then?


You've hit the nail on the head. Anything which assists drivers to reduce concentration can merely encourage them to drive faster. I've seen arguments for removal of all signage which tends to assist and reassure drivers who are going too fast, eg "Dangerous bend ahead". If you don't know what may be around the corner you should learn to drive accordingly and allow for the unexpected.

Grandad
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby Grandad » 25 Jun 2013, 11:17am

If you don't know what may be around the corner you should learn to drive accordingly and allow for the unexpected.


Fine in theory but judging by the number of drivers who overtake us on blind bends in daylight knowing whats round the corner is far less important than slowing down for a moment. Why will this behaviour change at night?

FromDirt2Road
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby FromDirt2Road » 25 Jun 2013, 3:37pm

I like them, riding in thick fog at night the cat eye's really helped me see the layout of the road, if they weren't there I would of been drifting into the middle.

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby hubgearfreak » 25 Jun 2013, 6:21pm

Grandad wrote: Why will this behaviour change at night?


it won't. but it'll reduce the number of bad drivers when the smash into trees.

as to the OP, why not look where you're going?

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jezer
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby jezer » 25 Jun 2013, 6:25pm

Grandad wrote:
If you don't know what may be around the corner you should learn to drive accordingly and allow for the unexpected.


Fine in theory but judging by the number of drivers who overtake us on blind bends in daylight knowing whats round the corner is far less important than slowing down for a moment. Why will this behaviour change at night?

There could be a case for removing all warning signs. How many times have I seen comments from motorists complaining of 'dangerous roads', when in reality there is no such thing. If they drive according to the conditions there would be no problem :?
Power to the pedals

Moodyman1

Re: Cat's eyes

Postby Moodyman1 » 25 Jun 2013, 10:35pm

I once knew a bloke who relied on cat's eyes to get him home safely. He used to drive home on country roads after a boozing session - the cat's eyes told him when he was straying outside his lane.

Geriatrix
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby Geriatrix » 26 Jun 2013, 4:27pm

I agree with the OP. I don't like them. On one of my previous commutes they made filtering between the cars nearly impossible.
I know that they have brought down a few cyclists on Reigate hill as well.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

helsinkifox
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby helsinkifox » 12 Jul 2013, 10:03pm

Have a look at the page From Dufton to Kirkby Stephen (regards cats eyes):

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1 ... 12643&v=BG

PDQ
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Re: Cat's eyes

Postby PDQ » 12 Jul 2013, 10:35pm

On the day that Alan Whicker passed away here is a link to his interview of the inventor. I saw it as a kid and was fascinated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NP79oConHk

I think they are a real boon to safety on unlit country roads, though motorised travellers probably benefit most.
Last edited by PDQ on 13 Jul 2013, 4:39pm, edited 1 time in total.