A Look Back in Time
La Bicicleta Verde is now at the ripe age of 7. It’s been an adventure. One that we look back on without regrets, only lessons. We are here today experiencing the life that we dreamed of and meeting new and inspiring people. At first we were torn between staying in Santiago (a city we had fallen so much in love with) and missing connections from around the world. We decided to bring the two together. And we want to tell you how…
The Gringo Owner
It was 2007 when Kansas born Co-Owner Peter Murphy Lewis found himself in a rut both professionally and personally. He had many past successes after studying International Relations, living in Santiago and working as a professor in different universities. Beyond academics, he felt as if he was missing a real connection with people and struggled to fill that empty void.
Peter worked 3 jobs and pushed himself to the limits. He ended up in therapy, excessively drinking, and overall, undergoing heavy bouts of stress. Nothing was giving him meaning or even contentment. An epiphany came to light in 2007: he realised drastic changes had to take place. This set the birth of La Bicicleta Verde into motion. Weeks later, he found his business partner Joel Martinez to begin their endeavor into the wonderful unknown together.
The Chileno Owner
Joel Martinez… Native Chilean, father of Amalia and Baltasar, creator of Faila & Martinez law firm and a bike lover. When given the proposition to leave a secure job of law and take the leap of faith with an eco-bicycle tour company in the not so touristy Santiago… how could he say no?
La Bicicleta Verde was becoming more than just a dream. Peter and Joel were going to showcase their beloved city in an ecological and unpolluted way while doing what they loved most… CYCLING. They joined teams and ventured into Santiago by bike to come up with the best cycling routes. They were missing just one thing… bicycles. The answer to that came from Gama Bikes. Now they had 10 bicycles, 1 route and an eagerness that was going to power them through their struggles and highs of the following years. Neither Joel nor Peter had a business background so no initial business plan was created. They were more “go with the flow” than “but what does it mean for business equity” kind of guys. But one thing has always been intact: their initial Vision and Values, the young/ fun personality and culture of the organization.
7 years after the emergence of Joel and Peter a team of 40+ enthusiastic employees come everyday to Santiago’s most colourful office (inside and out). This green spirit has not only touched the Chilean capital but has also guided free walking tours in Valparaiso through the sister company Tours4Tips. Tours4Tips came about in 2009 when they decided to expand the product portfolio to a larger group of travelers by doing walking tours for a price the travelers decide. They started in Valparaiso, expanded to Santiago and is now TripAdvisor’s #1 tour company. Suffice to say the expansion was a success as it has become some of Chile’s most popular tours. It was not an easy journey. La Bicicleta Verde had to survive a motorbike accident, swine flu, an earthquake and the financial crisis (2008). We all held on for dear life, in order to follow our dream.
Values + Beliefs
Everyone in the La Bicicleta Verde community mirrors the inspiring attitude that Joel and Peter brought to their first day of the company: A cleaner Santiago that gives back to the community. This can be resumed on the 3 C’s that guide our daily life at work:
Commitment = Chilean Culture
Consciousness = Team Values and Sustainability
Contentment = The team and the travelers
Check out our – Vision, Mission + Values
Check out our – Awards Here