When Ryan and Jason discover the destructive beauty of freestyle BMX, it’s a definitive before-and-after moment for them. The two riders gravitate to the freedom and raw aggression of trail riding as a way of coping with their tumultuous home lives: Ryan’s domineering father and Jason's father's suicide.
The boys prove themselves within the exclusive East Coast BMX scene. They're drawn deeper into the culture when they fall in with a group of older pros who are part of a subterranean world of bisexuality and sadistic humor. As Ryan and Jason fight to preserve their relationship, they must navigate their own emerging sexuality and feelings for one another. The death-drive urge to ride massive jumps makes perfect sense to them, but life outside of riding spills over at the edges.
The Dirt in Our Skin is a coming-of-age novel and artistic tribute to an activity that’s more lifestyle than sport. It’s a book of blurred lines: between friendship and love, humor and abuse, art and sport, fiction and nonfiction, and much more.