After the accidental death of his mother and sister, Danny and Captain Chase move from Germany to Texas, wherethe thirteen year old is harassed by other kids and considered an outsider. Danny’s only friend is his sister’s calico cat, Murg. His father has grown cold and now spends most of his time working at the air force base.
For the last month, Spike and his friends have tormented Danny, making fun of him, stealing from him, and beating on him. One stormy night, they hound him, chasing him to a haunted mansion in the woods. Injured and with his bicycle destroyed, Danny and Murg hide in the haunted house. A flash of light scares the bullies away but captures the calico’s attention. Murg leads Danny to the basement, where he tumbles down the stairs and into the lap of an alien. Kah-laye-dee heals Danny, then communicates telepathically. Government agents are hunting the alien from Cor-ror-o’lan. Danny feels a strong kinship and helps the alien. After a linking of minds and exchange of thoughts, Kalyde assumes Danny’s appearance to fool the authorities. Danny hides while Kalyde is taken to Danny’s home. Later that night, the truth is discovered; Danny is arrested, then grounded by his father.
Kalyde returns with a gift–a magic bicycle made from star metal. The alien takes Danny and Murg on a ride across the country, showing them how imagination powers the bicycle. In a flash, they ride a rainbow from Texas to the beaches of North Carolina. The magic even allows Murg to speak as long as she is in contact with the bicycle.
Spike and his friends confront Danny. Another newcomer, Jason, challenges them all to a bicycle race. A wager is made: if Danny wins, Spike and the others leave him alone; if Danny loses, he brings the others money for lunch every day.
Danny and the talking calico practice for the race. In Nevada along the alien highway, they race cars, breaking land speed records. They also discover the bicycle can ride atop snow, water and fog, everything but fly!
Unfortunately, during his worldwide rainbow travels, Danny learns that some friends have moved away, others have forgotten him, and his best friend, Happy, has drowned.
Race day arrives. Danny wins the contest but has a strange experience. He saw Mom and Sarah alive.
Spike refuses to honor the wager and continues to harass Danny. He only avoids a trap by backpedaling and using the power of the bicycle, which sends him back in time to when Sarah was alive. Murg counsels against making contact with her, fearing it might destroy the future.
After much thought and soul-searching, Danny and Murg travel back in time, seeking the advice of some of the great minds of the past. They visits Socrates in Ancient Greece, Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, HG Wells in London, and Albert Einstein in New England.
With their wise thoughts, Murg’s feline counsel, and the power of his imagination, Danny attempts to make peace with his past and foster new friendships.