Pee-wee Herman has a heavily accessorized bicycle that he treasures and that his neighbor and enemy, Francis Buxton, covets. A bike shop employee, Dottie, has a crush on Pee-wee, but he does not reciprocate it. Pee-wee's bike is stolen while he is shopping at a mall. The police tell Pee-wee that they cannot help him find his bike. Pee-wee thinks Francis took it, and confronts him. Francis' father convinces Pee-wee that Francis did not steal the bike. Pee-wee then offers a $10,000 reward for his bike. Francis, who did indeed pay to have someone steal the bike, is frightened by Pee-wee's relentlessness and then pays to have it sent away. After holding an unsuccessful meeting to locate the bike, Pee-wee angrily rejects Dottie's offers of help. Desperate, he visits "Madam Ruby", a phony psychic. Ruby, inspired by the Al and Moe's Bargain Basement shop across the street, tells Pee-wee that his bike is in the basement of the Alamo Mission in San Antonio. Pee-wee hitchhikes to Texas, getting rides from a fugitive, Mickey; and from Large Marge, the ghost of a deceased truck driver.