Are You Afraid of the Dark? S2E11 “The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle”

Sorry, David, but this wasn’t a great one, was it? “The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle” is an oddly boring story about bikes. Well, dead friends and bikes.

David and Kristen arrive late to the Midnight Society meeting, as they were out looking for David’s stole bike. According to David, once you have the right bike – it’s your forever. Gary even says something like a stolen bike is like someone ripping off a part of someone. I’ve ridden a bike before, kids. It’s not that great.

In the start of David’s “Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle,” young Mike and Ricky are the best of friends. The two are riding around on their bikes one day, when the stop on a bridge near a dam. While the two boys are talking, the dam is opened up and the water begins to move quickly below them.

As Ricky is leaning against the rickety bridge, the wooden boards fall loose and his red bicycle falls in. Ricky soon tumbles after, but Mike tries to grab him. Though Mike is able to get a hold on his best friend, he eventually loses his grip and Ricky tumbles to his death in the water below.

Several years later, Mike awakes from a nightmare calling Ricky’s name. Though his friend has been gone for a long while, the guilt of not being about to save Ricky still weighs heavy on his shoulders.

His younger brother Ben notices his brother’s lack of sleep, as do their parents. But Mike goes to school that day anyway. He begins to see a red bike everywhere, though it disappears whenever he takes a second glance. During class he sees the bike yet again, and this time a ghostly image of Ricky is standing with the bike.

Mike panics seeing his dead best friend, and faints. He’s then sent to school nurse to be treated. He talks to her about losing Ricky, and how he thinks he should have been able to save his friend that day. The nurse decides to send him home for the day, and while she’s filling out his paper work, Mike begins to hear someone calling his name.

He looks outside and sees Ricky with his red bike again. And when he turns around, Ricky has taken the face of the school nurse.

Later, Mike is driven back home by his worried father. After visiting a doctor, Mike is put on bed rest. That means he’ll be missing the opening day of fishing season, something he never missed – even the year that Ricky died.

On their drive home, Mike thinks he sees Ricky again, but it’s only a girl on a different red bike. Thinking his son has really lost the plot, Mike’s dad confirms that Mike will not leave the house, even for fishing.

When Ben learns that his brother won’t be able to go fishing with him, he tries to convince him otherwise. Mike promises his brother that he’ll try and sneak out so that they can go fishing together.

The next day Mike doesn’t wake up from his deep sleep. Ben is forced to go to the fishing lake without his older brother. Ben and his two friends head to their fishing spot, passing the place where Ricky died years before. But the bridge is now closed off and marked as dangerous.

While fishing, one of Ben’s friends angrily throws Ben’s fishing bobber, and it lands in the restricted area. Ben reluctantly goes to retrieve it, but his boot becomes stuck under a stone by the bridge.

Mike, who is still blissfully asleep, is awoken by the sound of his name being called again. He angrily leaves the house, and calls for Ricky to make himself appear. He’s stunned with Ricky complies, with his red bike in tow.

Mike angrily apologises for causing Ricky’s death, but his friend tells him something to the contrary. Ricky explains that he isn’t back for revenge against Mike, but actually thanks him for being such a good friend and trying his best to save Ricky all those years ago. Ricky tells Mike that there is someone else in danger that Mike has a chance of saving – Ben.

Mike hopes on the red bike and races to the dam. Ben, who has been shouting for help, watches as the water in the dam begins to be turned on again. But his brother is able to swoop in and save him in time.

After saving Ben’s life, Mike sees that the red bicycle he rode to the dam is now rusted and old. And, as David finishes his story, Ricky’s remains had finally been found after missing all those years.

At it’s core, “The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle” is rather sweet, but there really isn’t enough to pad out 20 minutes. Much of the episode is just of Mike seeing his dead best friend appear everywhere. This tale is neither creepy nor interesting enough to be a truly memorable episode.

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