'Camouflage is critical in giving our troops every advantage in battle,' Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chief of the Defence Staff, told a London press conference this month. 'This is why we've worked extensively with London cyclists to enhance effective camouflage design.
'It's long been recognised,' the head of the British Armed Forces explained to reporters, 'that London cyclists, with their innovative and ingenious combination of dark clothing, non-reflective surfaces and a total absence of lights, are able to make Harry Potter's Cloak of Invisibility look like one of David Bowie's more flamboyant outfits.
'Even today,' Sir Stuart continued, 'it remains astonishing how London cyclists are able to maintain near total invisibility - even in good daylight. This is exactly what our fighting men and women must emulate.'
'It's been a privilege to assist our armed forces,' responded Cliff Lemming, a spokesman for the London Cyclists' Association. 'Several of our members have worked with the MoD design team on this project in recent years. Sadly, many have had to withdraw due to injuries sustained in road traffic accidents. Others have suddenly emerged from nowhere, however, to continue this important work.'
Sir Stuart explained that the army had not been the only service to benefit. His own service, the RAF, had also drawn upon the technology. 'A new generation of stealth fighters have been designed to look, as far as possible, like London cyclists,' he confirmed. 'Their success has been breath-taking,' he added. 'Pilots often accidentally walk into these new aircraft in their hangers, simply not realising they're there.'
'For too long,' concluded Cliff Lemming, 'the public have regarded London cyclists as a bunch of dangerous, irritating twats. Now, finally, we've achieved something of which we can all be truly proud.'