Spirited Escapes is a seven-episode original video series featuring adventure traveler and former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones as he embarks on an open road journey of personal discovery and total immersion. From Brooklyn to Birmingham, Dhani meets different tradesmen whose passions and pursuits provide deep, engaged escapes from every day life.
Dhani Jones gets his road trip off to a two-wheeled start by crafting a completely custom bicycle in collaboration with 718 Cyclery owner Joe Nocella. Nocella – an architect by day and a bike builder by night – hand builds each bike just as it was done 100 years ago, with a passion for quality from stem to spoke.
Dhani finds himself deep in the groove of a free-form jam with Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton when everything just clicks. The pair heads to Hilton’s upstairs studio to remix the recording into a fully realized track and discuss how jamming can sometimes lead to truly great music. More about Thievery Corporation.
Dhani makes a stop in Charlottesville, where he meets chef Mark Gresge, an engineer turned restaurateur, whose L’étoile restaurant is dedicated to defining local Virginia cuisine. Turns out it’s all about sharing and using time-tested techniques and recipes with the local community, which Dhani and Mark agree often leads to the best result. More about L'étoile and chef Mark Gresge.
Dhani takes the passenger's seat and hands over the Porsche's helm to renowned automotive journalist (and 'Men's Journal' contributor) Ezra Dyer, who demonstrates how to properly utilize the superior agility and balance inherent in the mid-engine Boxster on North Carolina’s world-famous Tail of the Dragon driving road, all the while professing his love for automobiles.
Next stop: the beautiful, ornate Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, where Dhani learns fly-fishing skills from Dustin Stanberry, an instructor at the Orvis North Carolina Fly Fishing School with over 20 years of experience. Out on the water, Dhani learns how the patience and perseverance required in fly fishing can lead to a meditative solitude.
Dhani learns another lesson in mental focus at the Biltmore Estate while learning to shoot clay with Darren Moore, a U.S. Army Special Ops and Firearms Instructor. Moore tells Dhani that he must trust the gun as an extension of his own body while blocking out the periphery in order to shoot with precision.
Dhani spends a day at the Porsche Sport Driving School in Alabama, taking lessons on precision driving from chief instructor and racing legend Hurley Haywood. After a thrilling session on the track, Haywood takes Dhani for a ride in an authentic Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, demonstrating what 40 years of professional driving experience can do behind the wheel. Related Content: Read what The Sports Car Guys, Everyday No Days Off, and Stay Adventurous are saying about Spirited Escapes. Plus, an opportunity to win Porsche Boxster accessories.