Let me start out this titillating tale by describing how the truck behaves in winter. In a word, reluctant. Yesterday when I got up for work it was 2 degrees outside (after being so warm the day before that none of the snow stuck around). I had to hip check the door because it had frozen shut, and when I went to scroll through the radio, even the display was sluggish.
When I let my foot off of the brake, nothing really happened. It just kind of idled in place instead of starting to roll. When I did give it some gas, it was very much like a kid going to school on Monday. Dragging. Getting on the highway, I have to merge and get over four lanes within a quarter mile or so, so I have to get up a little speed. Yesterday I had to floor it just to get with the traffic.
This is all a little annoying, but I can relate to the truck. Is a cyclist not slower when their muscles are cold? So I take it easy on the old beast and hope that by coaxing it along, it'll keep moving for a while still.
Now that we've got the back story, on to the good stuff:
Over lunch, my coworker Jon and I decided to go to the grocery store, and I offered to drive. We were at a red light, waiting to turn left. Directly to the left there was a big municipal truck and a guy was doing maintenenace on an electrical pole or something. When the light turned green, I took my foot off the brake and eased on the gas. The truck started nosing out into the intersection, and then, from the left, an SUV goes FLYING past in front of us. The speed limit's 45mph and I'm betting they were going more than that. Jon swears at least 80. Whatever the speed, they just totally ran the red light, and I didn't see them coming because of the maintenance truck. We were a foot or so from getting t-boned or at least clipped at a very high speed, and if Jon were driving (faster driver, faster car) we definitely would have gotten hit.
Thus, the truck saved my bacon. No bodily injuries, truck repairs/replacements or legal battles for me.
Jon and I both swore and I stared at where the thing had torn past. I was too shocked to think about going after their license plate or anything, so I just turned as planned and drove on as my heartbeat returned to normal. Maybe it wouldn't have been as shocking to someone else, but I've never had such a close call. I was glad to have such a cranky, slow moving vehicle.