Sweet Valley Middle School needs to raise money for some new library books and supplies. They decide to a do a bike-a-thon where the kids get donations for each mile they ride on their bikes. They also give away a free top of the line racing bike to the winner. Nearly everyone in school decides to ride, except for Bruce who thinks it's a waste of time because he already has an expensive new bike.
Lois decides to ride too, which surprises everyone because she's so fat and overweight (their words, not mine). Bruce especially likes picking on her and making fun of her. At one point, he stands up and tells everyone what's on her lunch tray, and everyone laughs at her for eating so much.
While waiting in line for lunch a few days later, Bruce accidentally trips over her book bag. He decides that she did it on purpose and decides to get back at her. Lois worked really hard to get a lot of donations, and she got 23 people to sponsor her. Bruce goes to his parents, and they both agree to donate $10 per mile, which comes out to $600 total.
Lois is super upset until Elizabeth points out that she's at $17.50 per mile. She can't find anyone else willing to donate to her, and her mom won't let her ask for donations at the retirement home where she works. One of the residents overhears and agrees to sponsor her and gets other residents to help too. It turns out that if they both run the whole race, she'll make just a little more than him.
While all this is going on, Jessica decides to play spoiled brat. I know, completely shocking. She doesn't think it's fair that she and Elizabeth have to split their sponsors with each other because most people won't sponsor them both. She tries to convince Liz to drop out, but her twin actually won't this time.
Lila gets the new Johnny Buck cassette from her uncle and invites Jessica to listen. The other Unicorns decide to quit the marathon and go to her house instead. Ned acts like a dad and tells Jessica that she can't drop out but she can go to Lila's house after she finishes. This leads Jessica to ride four miles and quit.
Since Bruce and Lois are the two frontrunners, Elizabeth and Amy decide to follow them during the race. Elizabeth and Lois make it 22 miles before Lois can't go anymore. Amy makes it through the whole race, but she does say that she lost sight of Bruce after eight miles. No one knows if he finished or not until he comes to school on Monday with the full check from his parents.
Elizabeth decides that something seems suspicious. Everyone who finished the race got a gift certificate for a free ice cream sundae, but when someone mentions it to Bruce, he doesn't know what they're talking about. No one saw him at the finish line, and no one saw him after the eighth mile either. Jessica lets is slip that he got to Lila's house not long after she did.
Even though they suspect he didn't win, they can't prove it. Lois decides to step up and talk to Bruce about the race. She tells him that she knows he cheated, which he denies, but when she says he was worried she would actually beat him, he slips up. Bruce reveals that he wrecked his bike after mile eight and pretended that he finished.
SVMS holds a big presentation and award Lois the bike. Everyone oohs and ahs over her because she lost a few pounds and suddenly looks great. Elizabeth acts super proud like she's the one who won the race, and Jessica wonders if people will stop thinking Lois is gross.
*Her total meal is a serving of spaghetti, garlic bread, milk, ice cream, and a piece of cake. Oh yeah, she's a total fatty.
*Also, take a look at her on the cover. Does that girl look anywhere near overweight? Yeah, I didn't think so.
*Jessica bets Elizabeth that Bruce finished the race, and when she loses, she has to do all of her chores for a week.
*We get real parenting from New and Alice as in they tell the girls they need to figure out what to do about their sponsors and that Jessica has to finish the race. Then they turn into themselves again. They tell her they're disappointed that she only went four miles, but they don't punish her in any way.
*If I ever hear one of my kids talking about some girl being fat and gross like Alice hears Jessica, they are in big trouble. I won't just tsk tsk it away and say it isn't nice.
*Apparently, Lila has an uncle Scott who works in Los Angeles for some big deal record company, but of course, we'll never hear about him again.