Last year I was yelled at more times than I can count, for "riding in the middle of the road". I was told I should ride on the sidewalk where I belong. Horns blared as a car or truck speed by. And, on and on and on.

This year, as always I was prepared for the usual onslaught. But - it hasn't come.

On Tuesday I had something happen that I've never had in all my years of commuting. Heading north on Charles Street, I'm south of Kenilworth Drive settling in my place in line waiting for the light to turn green. I'm behind a van. The driver rolls down her window. Since I suspect she wants to talk to me I coast up to her. She wants to know if I'm turning right or going straight. Since her right blinker is on she's obviously concerned about a possible collision. I told her I was going straight but that I was not going to pass her and thanked her.

As far as I know I'm riding the same as I always have. The only difference that I'm aware of is that I have added an aardvark rear triangle to my saddle bag.

So my conclusion is that drivers have become more respectful. But why?

Do they see me differently? Do they think I'm some poor soul that can't pony up for the $3 gas? Do they see the gray hair peeking out from under the helmet and think I'm a granddad? Or do they think they should be out on their bike going from point A to point B? I don't know!

But I like it!

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There have been a lot of reports across the state about the change in driver