Gallery: INTERVIEW: We Talk to Bicycle Library Founder Karta Healy


Last week, we showcased the Bicycle Library, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, and it was so unusual that we had to get in touch with its founder and pick his brain. We needed to know what makes a person wake up one morning and want to start a library where people take out bikes instead of books – and in a revamped double decker bus, no less?! So we caught up with Karta Healy, the driving (or should we say cycling?) force behind this mobile resource, and found out the answers to those questions and more – read on to see what he said.

Inhabitat: How did the Bicycle Library get its start?

Karta: It all started last September, when I did a cycle fashion show extravaganza during London Fashion Week. We rented two buses to showcase all my TWOnFRO designs and my friends’ brands such as Rapha, swrve, Cyclechic, Dashing Tweed, 4TN and Brooks. The buses were a key part of our layout of a London city street within the hallowed halls of Smithfield Market. I set up a test Bicycle Library for our guests and everyone loved it as much as me. That got me thinking…

Inhabitat: People love the fact that the Bicycle Library makes its home inside a converted double decker bus – can you tell us about where it came from and why you decided to revamp an old vehicle instead of opening up a more traditional storefront?

Karta: I fell in love with the size and space inside these buses – they carry a certain nostalgia for all of us. From there I searched for our bus -a Leyland Olympian. I found it after 3 months in Milton Keynes. Maggie she is called, because all of her identifying marks start with M, and also because we have a great poster of Margaret Thatcher on a bicycle!


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  1. EcoHustler September 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    me likey!!

  2. msyin August 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Cool idea. This would translate well in places where riding is already done, where it is being encouraged and some might be able to introduce it into places that could well benefit from it despite the challenges presented by image, cars and theft. Maybe the next step is to come up with solutions for places where riding is taking off and then have a roll out plan for a full system in a town or city near us.

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