If you walked into your place of employ and found mold colonies growing on your workspace, chances an alarm would sound: time to improve your hygiene. Not so for Brian Ralph. In his world, this is just another day at the office. This gives him a particular view of the world — and you can learn a lot from a guy like him.
Producer and Director
Jim Wilson may not be a household name, but his resume speaks for itself. As the producer behind films like Dances with Wolves and The Bodyguard, he developed a reputation for making films whose cultural impacts belied their modest budgets. His upcoming film 50 to 1, which tells the story of 2009′s unlikely Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, is no exception. Jim carved out a window from a hectic promotional tour to talk about making this film a reality, working with his longtime friend Kevin Costner, and even his thoughts on Avatar.
Design Director at Easton-Bell Sports
When we think of influential people, we often default to Time 100 types — Oprah, President Obama, Steve Jobs. But what about the guy making your bike commute more comfortable, creating fabrics and garments that can replace your typical urban attire with performance-oriented equivalents while keeping your crotch area breathable? This guy moves mountains in our world, and he’s Alex Valdman, Design Director at Easton-Bell Sports. We caught up with him to talk about his work with Giro, his perfect last meal and his inspirations.
Part Craftsman, Part Caveman
Jimmy Carbonetti, Caveman band member and the proprietor of Carbonetti Guitars located on New York’s Lower East Side, still has plenty of life to live before he churns out the next self-help best seller. But if a Carbonetti’s Rules for Success ever does surface, the lessons should seem familiar: do what you love and find mentors. Getting both lined up didn’t take long in his case. We caught up with the musician and luthier ahead of his next appearance in Austin to chat about everything from the origins of his “Cobra” nickname to his musical heroes and a few of his latest projects.
Founder of Restoration Hardware and Guideboat Co.
Stephen Gordon: a man with a dog and a boat that he rows in lakes. That’s really all it takes for us to like a guy, but Gordon has a story that obliges further explanation. The founder of Restoration Hardware practically created a new brand of retail by selling gift-like items only loosely related to fixtures and furniture. Inspired by his youth in the Adirondacks, Guideboat Co. makes handsome boats out of a 19th century lumber yard in Mill Valley, CA. We caught up with Gordon to talk about making stew, determination and peeing in the woods.
Founder of Schofield Watch Company
Giles Ellis is a man obsessed with details. Though his pet project, Schofield Watch Company, has won high praise from watch connoisseurs, Ellis is still wary of being pigeonholed. Quirky hard goods and a premium line of straps prove it: Schofield is an adventurous brand driven by design yet still rooted in the traditions of watchmaking and a distinctive British pride. So what makes the man behind it all tick?
Great Advice from a Dozen Great Women
Confronted with two contradictory truths that nevertheless exist simultaneously — Valentine’s Day is a superficial Hallmark holiday, Valentine’s Day requires decisive action on our part — we fumble around and fuck things up. Knowing this, we came up with one very good idea: asking the women we trust what they think about love, romance and February’s big holiday. They’re bright, beautiful and successful. They’re sommeliers, teachers and racecar drivers. They’re editors, photographers and athletes. These are their insights.
World's Best Female Climber
Sasha DiGiulian is the best female climber in the world. In 2012, she became the first American woman (and only the third woman of all time) to climb grade 5.14d, only three steps below where the scale tops out. She’s graced the covers of 12 different magazines, received the Rubicon and Salewa Rock Legend awards and been sponsored by Adidas, Five Ten and Petzl, among others. The craziest part? She’s only 21. We caught up with the Columbia University undergraduate to talk about climbing, philosophy and piña coladas.
Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival
Trevor Groth first visited the Sundance Film Festival in 1989 at the age of 17. The experience changed his life, eventually leading him to a job as Director of Programming at Sundance, presiding over the strategic planning and selection process of the now-iconic film festival. Translation? He’s paid to watch and discuss movies produced by the planet’s most talented filmmakers and then picks which movies the world should definitely see. We caught up him in the middle of the 2013 festival to pick his brain about his process, how to experience the festival right and the state of the indie film scene at large.
Celebrity chef, restaurateur, knife enthusiast
Hugh Acheson is a familiar face by now, with plenty of magazine appearances after his Food & Wine Best New Chef award and a recurring role as a judge on Top Chef. But it’s the Ottawa-born chef’s enthusiasm for Southern cuisine that has buoyed his reputation. He lives in the South with his wife and kids. His three restaurants in Georgia, along with his cookbook, A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen, have earned him James Beard Foundation awards as a chef and as an author. We caught up with him to talk about scrambled eggs, opening restaurants, the things that piss him off, and what piques him about the land below of the Mason-Dixon line.
Racing Prodigy, Porsche test driver
Most sixteen-year-olds spend their time learning how to parallel park and struggling with acne. Just after his sweet sixteen, Patrick Long moved to Europe to work on racing strategy and focus on becoming one of America’s best drivers. It worked. He’s since become the youngest American to take class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans — all while performing as Porsche’s go-to driver for testing new cars. We grabbed a few minutes with the Southern Californian — now 32 years old — between his surf sessions and race day.
Cyclocross National Champion
Beats, turntables, peanut butter and extreme conviction have helped fuel Rapha-Focus cyclocross pro Jeremy Powers to a national championship. Through his web video franchise “Behind THE Barriers TV”, Powers has also sought the broader goal of elevating the profile of his sport. In a cycling epoch besmirched by the failings of a Texan colossus, the adept DJ and former ice cream truck driver continues to inspire his countrymen. We caught up with Powers to talk about his sport, Belgian beer and finding inspiration.
Pioneering Made-in-America Watchmaker
Stories follow Michael Kobold everywhere. The founder of Kobold Watches, which declares that its watches are “conceived, designed, assembled and tested in USA from domestic and imported components”, has turned his immodest passion for timepieces into a successful business and made relationships with great men — Ranulph Fiennes, Gerd-Ruediger Lang, the late James Gandolfini — along the way. We were lucky enough to catch up with him recently to hear some tales and catch up on his blooming horological business.
Lifelong surf legend
If you’re looking for a lesson in the good life, look no further than Robert August. At 18 he starred in The Endless Summer, the first great surfing film, taking him on a seven-month world tour of uncharted breaks. The rest, as they say, is history. August went on to launch an eponymous line of surfboards, which he still shapes today. We caught up with him at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, to talk about parenting, lamb chops and the difference between monkeys and people.
19-year-old arctic explorer
On December 3, Parker Liautaud and decorated polar guide Douglas Stoup will depart from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica on a 397-mile journey to the South Pole — an adventure that, if successful, will make Liautaud the youngest and fastest man to trek from coast-to-pole. Not bad for a 19-year-old college sophomore. We caught up with Parker to talk about the expedition, climate change and how to eat 6,000 calories in a day.
Going the distance, going for speed
It’s hard to imagine a more accomplished and well-rounded distance runner than Michael Wardian. In 1996 he ran the Marine Corps Marathon, his first, in a swift 3:08. The rest is in the annals of history: more than 150 marathons and more than 60 ultras; more than 30 marathon wins; three-time US Olympics Trails qualifier…it goes on. We caught up with him for a workout and a chat about chivalry, apple pie and running really far.
Founder of Ponzi Vineyards
Dick Ponzi founded Ponzi Vineyards in 1970 and has been a key figure in making Willamette Valley pinot noir renowned worldwide. Along the way, he started Oregon’s oldest microbrewery, Bridgeport Brewing Company, in 1984. Now, he and his wife Nancy are poised to join artisan chocolate “bean to bar” movement. Gear Patrol wanted to know: How does one man establish such a presence and influence on the appetites of foodies?
Fence, Swim, Jump, Shoot and Run
Think that vegans don’t get the protein needed to really compete? Think again. Justin Torrellas, a raw vegan athlete, spent the past year at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, training for the 2016 Olympics in the modern pentathlon. We caught up with the former bassoonist to talk about children’s books, positivity, and the value of short shorts.
Jack of all wheeled trades
He’s been a stunt car driver for Iron Man 2. He’s the all-time medal winner (nine total) in RallyCross at the X Games. He won the Global RallyCross Championship. He’s got a degree in molecular biology. Tanner Foust is clearly a well-rounded individual — and he’s not all go go go. He’s also the co-host of the American version of Top Gear on the History Channel, now in its fourth season. How he finds the time to thrash the track, co-host a TV show and bone up on human physiology is beyond us, but we were able to spend a few minutes with Foust to talk about his upcoming projects and what gets him going.
Late-blooming triathlon athlete
In 1997, Chris Lieto saw the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Championship on TV and decided to start training. Three years later, he became a professional triathlete. We caught up with the one-time mortgage broker to talk about technology, charity, and eating a healthy diet.
At age 12, Anton Krupicka ran his first marathon. He’s been running ever since. We caught up with the minimalist ultra-marathoner to talk sweet potatoes, Don DeLillo, and his degree in Physics.
Leading chef at Clyde Common
Growing up in the suburbs of New York City in a large Italian family, Chris Diminno learned the importance of food pretty quickly. After honing his resume and skills at several fine establishments, Diminno moved to Portland — where ever since he’s been a lead chef at the extremely popular Euro-style gastropub Clyde Common. We chat with Diminno about Twinkies, the farm-to-table movement, bicycles and people who Instagram their food.
Two-time overall UCI World Cup downhill champion
While his contemporaries were putting on puppet shows and learning to play catch, Aaron Gwin was racing BMX in national competitions. He was eight. Today, Gwin is a two-time overall UCI World Cup downhill champion and the first American to win the Downhill World Cup Overall. We caught up with the “Fastest Man in Downhill” to talk ice cream, God and America’s best trails.
Head of Men's Design at J.Crew
Sometimes an outsider’s perspective is just what’s needed to achieve unique excellence. Frank Muytjens is the Holland-born head of men’s design at J.Crew, a proudly American company. Muytjens, who’s been perhaps the driving factor at the brand since he joined in 2008, finds his ideas nearly everywhere. We recently had the chance to chat with him and learned about what he brings to the staple brand, how he refreshes beloved classics, and his penchant for odd numbers.
Three million miles and counting
Irv Gordon looks young for his age. If you were to divide the almost three million miles he’s driven in his 1966 Volvo P1800 by the national average of miles driven per year, he would be 220 years old. Gordon took a few minutes to tell us about his pastrami-driven last meal on earth, his certification as a shotgun instructor and why his next car might be an Aston Martin.
The Zinn master
When it comes to household names in cycling, there’s Lance Armstrong and…who else? We’ll make the case for Lennard Zinn, whose bike maintenance books — among them, the best-selling Zinn & The Art of Road Bike Maintenance — have prime real estate on the shelves of anyone who knows a bottom bracket from a Krispy Kreme. Zinn is a former member of the U.S. national racing team, a technical writer for VeloNews.com and owner of Zinn Cycles in Boulder, CO, where he also designs and builds custom bikes. His college thesis? Building a bike. We caught up with Zinn to talk about what to look for when buying a bike, prepping for cyclocross season and not stressing out.
It started with a photo
Ask any photographer to pencil a list of dream clients and it might look something like this: Nike, Apple, Microsoft, Columbia Sportswear, REI, Subaru, Polaroid, Lady Gaga and Red Bull. With notches in his grip for all of those and more, Chase Jarvis has one hell of a career trajectory. Oh, and he’s the youngest person to be named Hasselblad Master. We took a few moments to talk to Chase about his next project and what makes him tick.
In 2011 Rob MacCachren was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. You don’t get that honor just by doing doughnuts in the Walmart parking lot. We caught up with him on one of those rare occasions when he’s not behind the wheel of a 700+ horsepower truck to chat about his outstanding career and his plans for the future.
A Mighty Tradition
Tucked away in the quiet industrial surf town of El Segundo, California, stands a cozy theater that has been around since 1921. Within that theater sits a rare gem, something that most of us no longer associate with movies at all. It’s an organ — a massive one, a 1925 Mighty Wurlitzer, to be exact. And sitting before it, for much of the video above, is Bill Field, the owner and player of this special instrument and place.
Founder of Total Immersion Swimming
We know: you have a recurring dream where you fall off a yacht and can’t swim back to shore. First, drop the extra Champagne. Second, remember Terry Laughlin. The former West Point swim coach and founder of Total Immersion Swimming writes books, publishes DVDs and teaches seminars, all on how to swim more like a fish. We caught up with him for a few words.