Beware The Bike-Man

by admin on September 30, 2009

First, a little background on the location where we live:

I and my boyfriend of a year live together with another couple that we are very close friends with, in a complex of apartments built for students only. It’s not like a dorm, the apartments are beautiful and when we moved in it had only just been completed. We were the first people to live in our apartment.

Now, the neighborhood is very nice and central yet private, since most of the area consist either of big corporations, offices, a science park and a part of a prestigious university. The people that live around this area are mostly high-class people who are VERY wealthy, which can be easily noticed while taking a walk in the area.

Our apartment-complex also looks very modern and classy, and we joke about it looking like a modern fortress. It is shaped like a big C, with an opening in the front and a small gap for people to pass through in the back (the buildings are connected with small bridges on every floor at that point).

The neighbors this story is about live across the street from us, in the only “shabby” building in the area. What we know about this place is that the owner buys many houses of this kind: old, damaged and most of all, cheap. He then proceeds to rent the apartments to social security, to provide homes for unemployed people. Now, this I have no problem with; everyone deserves a second chance. Our other “neighbors” in the house is the biker gang Bandidos. He then leaves the houses to manage themselves (only collecting rent) and when the house is beyond repair he sells it and does the same all over again.

Anyway, on with the story:

In this house across the street from us, there are MANY very strange people, which result in several weird occurrences where, for example, a naked, old woman went out in the middle of the road and yelled that her husband hadn’t been home for five years.

Our specific neighbor-from-hell is someone we call “the bike-man”. He’s gotten this nickname from the fact that every time we see him, he’s either arriving or leaving on his bicycle (complete with a little lorry dragging behind). Now, this is a BIG guy, the image of someone who’s been on steroids for years, and always wear a tight t-shirt and some very tiny and tight bike-shorts.

Usually this guy is always very angry at everything, and it’s normal to hear him shouting in the evenings, and to see him kick in the mailbox on their side. He’s also thrown out shopping carts in front of passing cars and generally demolished anything on their side of the road when he’s angry (which is ALWAYS). One of my roommates (the other girl) was on the bus once, and (for once leaving his precious bike behind) so was bike-man. He proceeded to ask her if he could touch her private areas.

There are two different events that really shook up the entire complex, though:

In the yard in the middle of our C building, there were three young cherry trees set up on a kind of porch in the middle, very nicely arranged. One time we came home from our college, and found that ALL of them had been snapped off in the middle. These trees were, as I said, young, but still about 2 meters tall and not something an ordinary person could snap off just like that. We also noticed that the (very thick) glass that served as wind-protection at the large opening in the C has been punched a hole in.

Well, we talked to another of the students living here, and he told us that he’d been standing at the bus-stop right outside the building when it happened. He’d heard the snapping sounds, and looked in to see bike-man red with rage snapping them in half, and then proceeding to punch that hole in the glass with his fist.

The guy was terrified, but saw the bus approaching so he was really anxious to get on it. Bike man started walking toward him in a very threatening manner, and the guy just wanted to run away from there. When he finally got close to the guy (right as he was about to get on the bus) he asked him, “Got a smoke?”

One time we were sitting on our balcony that overlooks the street separating our houses, and noticed a computer screen standing on the ground outside their door. We thought nothing of this, as there’s usually a bunch of stuff laying around there, but then we saw bike-man coming home on his bike.

He didn’t even try to brake or stop the bike, just jumped off and let it crash into the wall. Not losing any momentum at all, he ran over to the screen (while screaming something we couldn’t quite make out) and picked it up. He then proceeded to walk through the small passage in the back of our C and we heard a major noise before we’d been able to run through the corridor to the small bridge so we could see what had happened.

It appeared that he had run into the yard, and completely crushed the monitor against the ground; kicking and screaming.

Obviously we called the police, who approached him and talked to him as he was heading back into their house. After a while one of the officers walked over to us, and told us that they had received many complaints about his violent behavior but that whenever we talk to him he’s always very polite and kind, and says that he would never hurt anyone. Then she asked us whether we would want him to clean up the mess he made, he really doesn’t want to, because it would be too humiliating.

We haven’t seen or heard from him since then, maybe he got evicted? 0922-09

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Silver March 7, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I agree that this guy sounds like an awful neighbor, but I don’t see what the wealth of the area or the shabbiness of the one building have to do with the story.

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Star March 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Silver, I think it’s just for describing the scene.. it has no meaning beyond making it easier to picture the events. I personally enjoy the stories that include more detail, as it makes the experience more vivid.

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MrsAdorkable March 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I am not seeing how the fact that you live in the “wealthy” part and he does not is relevant to the story. Rich people behave this way as well, but they are just called “eccentrics”.

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Jen March 29, 2010 at 2:23 am

What struck me most about this story was, for all of the judgments the writer made, it’s terribly written. “I and my boyfriend of a year…” Seriously?

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Tsuki April 15, 2010 at 9:27 am

This is OP, and I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone who I’ve offended by writing this. I did not mean in any way to sound condescending, but as I’m not a native speaker, I guess that my intended meaning did not get across.
I live in a fabulous neighbourhood, and as Star said, I only wrote about the wealthiness as a description… I myself do definitely not belong to the others living here, as I’m currently dirt poor, from the country and a student. I guess I got way too carried away when writing, because I love it here, weird neighbours and all.

If anyone is interested, we talked to an employee at the student-housing agency and he confirmed that Bike-man had been moved to another location.

Next time I will definitely read what I write a couple of extra times to make sure I don’t mess up again!
Again, I’m sorry

//Tsuki

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Alexa April 28, 2010 at 2:56 am

I am just sad I didn’t read this sooner. Jen, on an etiquette site I would think people would have the manners not to make fun of another person’s writing style or linguistic faults. In this case, the writer was a foreign speaker of English and your foot is now in your mouth. Even had she not been, it is inappropriate. Outside of a professional/educational setting or a context in which the writer/speaker is a professional, it is probably not polite to comment. In the case of family and close friends, only comment on strange speaking styles if you really believe it will hinder them socially or professionally, and then do so gently without being judgmental or acting superior.

I know many people come to this site to feel like they are better than other people by passing judgment on strangers, but that isn’t much better than many of the stories here, the only difference is that what you are doing is too boring for anyone to want to read.

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Luxie June 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm

This story made me laugh, and the OP’s comment that she got ‘carried away’ describing her complex rings very true. Particularly taking into account her follow-up comment, it didn’t strike me as judgmental but more setting the scene. Here is the nice, calm, peaceful area… and over there is a spot where things always seem off the wall. It doesn’t have to be a commentary on social inequalities unless you make it one.

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MM October 13, 2010 at 10:25 pm

A little late on this, but I have to comment. I take a real issue with this story in several ways. Maybe it is because of my experience working with the mentally ill, but I don’t like the way “bike-man” and others in his building were described. I just want to explain something- many of the people receiving SS benefits and living in subsidized housing have mental disabilities. They are not invalids or screw-ups who “deserve a second chance,” they are human beings who deserve the best chance at having a normal life as a part of their community. People living with disabilities of this kind are not, in my opinion, deserving of ridicule and entertainment to others on an ettiquette website (nothing in this story had anything to do with ettiquette). It is unfortunate that you are so engrossed in and amused by his behavior, which is obviously and sadly in need of psychiatric intervention. The other thing that bothers me is they association with the bike as some kind of fault or joke. If he drove a car would you call him “car-guy” and berate him for taking public transportation and leaving his “precious car behind?” Many people on SS, especially those with disabilities, are not able to own a car or drive, and some are not even able to afford a bike.

The best thing you could have done for this guy is call the police or maybe adult protective services and express your concern that his safety and the safety of others may be in jeopardy, and that you believe he may need psychiatric intervention. At the very least you could stay away from him, have a little compassion, and not turn his problems into a condescending story on ehell.

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Kai October 14, 2010 at 6:34 am

MM I understand what you mean about the mentally ill not being screw ups in need of a second chance, but human beings who deserve the same decent treatment as everyone else.

However, ‘Bike Man’ in this story clearly has an anger management problem. I know that mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes, but due to my own personal experience of someone with an anger management issue, I personally haven’t much, if any, sympathy for them. They are violent, often emotionally and psychologically abusive, and downright dangerous.

As for the nickname of ‘Bike Man’, if you don’t know someone you usually tend to give them some kind of nickname to identify them. It looks like it was going to be either ‘Bike Man’ or ‘That Really Scary Angry Dude’. I don’t see the name as that big of a deal.

I don’t really see that ‘Bike Man’ has been unfairly victimised here. He is clearly dangerous and the police have been called on numerous occasions. I didn’t see ridicule in this story, I saw a legitimate wariness and even fear of the angry guy who smashes everything.

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Jillybean October 14, 2010 at 11:25 am

Jen – she could use some commas, but not sure what your issue is otherwise. I’m curious if you’re suggesting she should have gone with “Me and my boyfriend…” because that would actually be grammatically incorrect.

She should have written it, “I, and my boyfriend of a year, live…” or she could have avoided confusion by going with – “My current boyfriend and I …” but seems a little nitpicky for no reason to jump on the OP for it. Anyway – as the OP later points out – English not her first language.

But, I’m with MM – not sure what the etiquette issue is. And yes, adult protective services would have been a good idea, as the police didn’t seem to be able to do anything.

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