Oh dear, what is a poor cyclist to do in these cash-straitened times? As Jeremy Clarkson pointed out on Top Gear last weekend, "work hard you can have a car," but what with public sector jobs under threat, personal disposable income squeezed and utility bills appearing to add an extra zero each quarter, times are tough. Buy a car? We'll be lucky if we can afford a moped.
Of course, you and I know that most adult cyclists own cars, and that the demographic profile of your average regular cyclist is pretty upmarket, not to mention that the rig you're sitting on may be worth more than the jalopy that's pulled up next to you at the lights (assuming, being a cyclist and all, that you haven't ridden straight through them or taken to the pavement to bait pedestrians).
But the poor sap sitting in the traffic jam, his Carlos Fandango Superwide Wheels inching forward on the road to nowhere, rear spoiler blocking his view of the cars backed up behind him, he doesn't know any of that that, does he?
Well, your worries are over, fellow cyclists. Now you too can aspire to cut-price entry to the petrolhead community by fitting an exhaust to your bike. Okay, it's not a car, but you're bound to get some appreciative nods from any Hell's Angels you come across. Find some old Rock Racing kit and you'll be looking the part and ready to go.
But don't take our word for it, over to the manufacturers, Tomax Ltd, owned by Tom and Andrew Maxwell, "two brothers with a passion for anything engine or car related" - such a passion, in fact, that has led them to develop Turbospoke, "an Exhaust-Sound System for your bicycle."
Now why didn't we think of that?
"Imagine if you could transform your everyday bicycle to have the look and sound of a real motorbike. - Well imagine no more because Turbospoke does exactly that!!
"Turbospoke not only has the look and feel of a real motorbike exhaust pipe, it also makes the most awesome realistic engine sounds. The engine sounds start as soon as the wheels turn, so the sound changes as your speed does! What’s more is that Turbospoke requires no batteries to make it work, it is 100% pedal powered."
Okay, that last bit, we like.
"The sounds are made by a thin plastic ' Motocard' which is held against the spokes of your wheel. Each Turbospoke comes with 3 Motocards which are tuneable for up to 6 different sounds. The sound travels up the exhaust pipe and gets even louder!!
"So whether you’re a fan of Nascar, motocross, Formula 1 or rally you’ll be able to tune a sound that makes you VROOOM!!"
We're off to order ours right now before they sell out, and we're pretty sure this will be the must-have accessory for cyclists this summer. If ony there were a carbon-emitting version too...
We can't help thinking it would look especially good mounted on a Trek TT bike and painted in the old rainbow stripes [watch it - ed] - UCI regulations might have a word or two to say about motors, but we're sure you're safe if it's just an exhaust.
[Alternatively, you could just view it as a kids' toy that will provide hours of fun while zooming round the local streets on the BMX, but that wouldn't be half as much fun to write about]
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.