Cyclo-therapy: I met a bicycling dad at a party who told me how much he loved riding with his daughter perched up front

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I want a baby. I don't really want a baby. It would be a bad time, what with the 12-hour days and my living arrangements – I occupy a shoebox of a room in a cupboard of a flat at the top of what must be London's steepest hill – but babies are cute and I'm 28 now. My Dad had two cute babies when he was 28.

But why I really want a baby, or think I do, is because if there's one place a cute baby looks cuter than anywhere else it's on the back of a bicycle. Or, ideally, on the front of a bicycle – on one of those forward-facing seats on the handlebars.

My broodiness began a couple of weeks ago when a link posted on Twitter led me to a series of photos of a man somewhere in Holland. Young and effortlessly cool in faded cords, he's giving his little one a lift around town on a stately gentleman's cruiser. See for yourself at

Then I met a bicycling dad at a party recently who not only offered some hope that parties were possible in fatherhood, but also told me how much he loved riding with his daughter perched up front. People (women, mainly) would stop me in the street, he promised, melting at the sight of a modern man with his baby riding pillion.

This got me even more interested, of course, but what really pushed me along this perhaps slightly misguided path was the way he told me how much his daughter loved hitching a ride, gurgling and occasionally looking up at him at the traffic lights, all rosy-cheeked and smiley under her woolly hat. It's a look shared between beardy guy and his charge in one of those cute photos, too. How nice that would be, I thought.

Of course there are a few things I'd need to arrange before I could go Dutch. Cooler shoes for one thing, and some corduroy trousers. And a new bike, as well as a bigger flat in a better area. A bit more money would be nice, too, as would fewer working hours. Oh, and a girlfriend. Ideally I'd have the baby first and ride around in the hope of finding a match, but I guess things don't work that way round. I could borrow a baby, but that would be weird. Hmm, maybe I'm not ready for this.; or see