Delaware County man crafts unique bicycles by hand as works of art

"I have found peace here. This is where I come to hang out and relax. To get away from the rat race of life," said Joseph LaVallee.

His workshop is his playground, a place he comes just a few hours a week, to work with oak, ash and walnut.

"This has been drying long enough," LaVallee states. "I want these to be about an 1/8 inch."

Using repurposed wood, Joe crafts a sturdy frame.

"There is the beginning of our S tube for a beach cruiser bike. That will hold that shape and it is not going to go anywhere," he explains.

So far, LaVallee has made three different kinds and is working on his fourth. Bicycles made of wood.

"These are really made as art. They are eye catching. People stop to see them. I don't want to make bikes that go 20 to 40 miles per hour. I want ones that cruise around the neighborhood and are smooth," LaVallee stated.

The wood flourishes out in the sun.

"This really spoke to me when I built it and it really came to life," LaVallee said.

The first bike he made was a mountain bike and it's the one he loves the most.

"The brown is walnut. The light is maple and the one in the center is cherry," LaVallee explained. "It kind of built itself. This one will never be for sale, sorry. This one is mine."

Each bike is different. There is a beach cruiser made of ash.

"It is not about making the same bike over and over. That is not what I am into. It is about having a dream and making one," Joe added.

Back in Joe's workshop, his work continues.

"I started jotting down my measurements. It looks like a big mess, but I understand it," Joe states. "It would be nice as I get close to retirement to make special bikes for people who can appreciate the look, the feel and, at times, the ride," Joe said.

As the weather begins to warm up, so does Joe's desire to cruise his neighborhood, on a bicycle built with love.

Information on these very unique bicycles can be found here.