Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Baystate Cyclocross : VERGE UCI Race Reports

In my usual way I plan to keep these short as I need to get some work done before RI race weekend...and go train!

Sterling is traditionally the weekend after Thanksgiving and for 2009 became a 2 day event to fall in line with the other Verge series races.

Friday turned out to be a cold and rainy "black" day and I was forced to use my trainer for the first time this season to get my training in. After an hour of hard efforts I prepped the bikes with the Dugast Rhino's and tried to lay low for the rest of the day.

Saturday dawned brisk and WINDY!!! (40+mph) but the sun was out so I knew the chance for a dry track was good...I was right! No mud at all! And another great Tom Stevens design using the multi tiered course at Sterling.

I got a great jump on the whistle and lead the pack of nearly 75 riders around the cinder track to the run up. after the big run up the selection happened, JB, myself, Roger A and Kevin H. were all to the races. Roger and Johnny were making most of the pulls and I was sitting on. With 3 to go, I got gapped off a bit and had to bridge back on the track, when I made the connection I went to the front so I could lead into the technical sections. This sort of worked to slow down the better bike "drivers" then the attacks started. First Kevin, then Roger and finally Johnny. The elastic snapped and I was left in no mans land at 20sec back. I would finish there for another 4th place. I know on a good day I have the legs to ride with these guys, I just need to be better positioned and take more chances.

Sunday was a gorgeous day, the warmest I have ever raced at Sterling. No gloves warm! On Sunday I didn't get the same start and was swarmed but a half dozen guys in the first corner. Johnny immediately made a hard effort that would create the winning gap. Roger and Kevin chased hard but I got left behind. I slayed myself for 35+ minutes with the only help coming from Steve P. In hindsight this was a major error as I was just pulling around 5 guys who would go on to out sprint me for 4th. I was pretty pissed on the racing tactics of my other Elite Masters, but I eventually chalked it up to good racing on their part. 9th on the day.

I go into the final VERGE race weekend in RI 5th in points, 7 out of 4th. Hopefully the legs will be good and I race to my ability to wrap up the season.

Here is a pic from Day 1 in Sterling.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Plans...

...a lot of truth here in the Perham house.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Shedd Park : BRC Cross : Short Report

I really enjoy this course! I had to miss it in 2008 as I was away at the OTC for some work functions. The course is super fun and the promoter added a few technical sections for this year including a series of steep 180 turns on the side hill along w/a double barrier at the bottom of the steep run up.

I lined up (ok pushed my way...) on the front row next to Bill Shattuck. Some of the usual VERGE suspects were racing as well, including Rob Hult and Mark G and John M from the 45+ A races. I got a good jump and followed Bill around the cinder track. When we hit the twisty's on lap 1, I punched it and got a good 5sec gap but knew I only had "ok" legs so I decided I would ease up, ride smooth and wait for the cavalry to arrive. Soon I was joined by elite racer Pete Smith, Bill S, and a few others. Bill, Pete and I did the lions share of the work and soon we had a gap over Rob Hult. We rode well together till 1 to go then I threw down a series of hard efforts to see where we all stood...I had a nice little gap up the steep riding section, then proceeded to almost dump it in the next corner...DOH! So it would come down to a sprint on the track. 2 Roadies v. me, the triathlete...great. I lead through the forest and onto the track, I waited a second or 2 then I nailed it. I knew if I stayed on the inside Bill and Pete would have to come around me. I never really "sprinted" per se, just pushed VERY hard on the pedals...with ~15 meters to the line, I saw Pete inching closer...but not in time! Win! I was pretty psyched as I feel I did most of the work in the group and led a large part of the race. Pete and Bill were impeded a bit by back markers for sure...but I took the chance to lead onto the finish strip, and it paid off.

Next up are 2 VERGE races in Sterling MA and then the VERGE finals in RI....then a little break!

Here are a few pics from the race, thanks to Nick6kcin for them!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

everybody is getting into cross...

first triathletes, now the hipsters.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

quicky NoHo Recap

Leading up the run up Saturday.

Sat : 6th with really bad legs. Looking back, I dont see anything glaring that might indicate why (diet/openers workout, etc) maybe just a long drive Fri and Sat AM?

Sun : was MUCH better. Great start, made the selection with the big hitters (Bold, Hines, Aspolm, Kraus and Boivin). Curtis got spit out 2 laps in and then I bobbled/drove like an idiot and got spit out rolling into the last lap. Rolled in for an uncontested 5th.

Next up are two low key race weekends then the frozen tundra of Sterling the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Hup, Hup y'all!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

NoHo is this weekend!

One of my favorite courses!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

VERGE Rhode Island Teazer!

Epic weather. Epic Courses. Epic competition.

Have a peak...

Gloss Star!

With 3 x Double Verge Race weekends, I am WAY behind on I will make this one SHORT!

Sat : full Nor'easter storm in effect. Super mudder = 12th place for me. Not great, but about all I had on the day.

Sun : perfect New England fall day and the BEST Gloucester course ever! I get a wicked HOLESHOT and ride in the front group for 2 laps then slip back a bit to finish 7th.

Here are some pice and a vid!


Gran Prix of Gloucester - A Cyclocross Film from Benjamin Eckstein on Vimeo.

Next up Providence Cross Festival!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Good...Not so good. Verge NE Series 1 and 2

This past weekend was the first 2 rounds of a LONG Verge NE Cyclocross Series in Williston VT @ the lovely Catamount Family Center.

After many discussions w/Erika it was decided I would fly solo for this and stay in a hotel with a bike racer friend from Maine, Mike G. As always, thanks to her for taking care of our children while I zoomed away to race my bike!

Sat, 6th OA Elite Masters 35+.
A pretty straightforward but HEAVY course with a sustained grass climb and many open grass sections into the wind. Nothing too technical, but a few gravity cavity type 180's to keep you honest.

I knew in the warm up I had good legs and would also have a front row call up. Then of course I slipped the pedal at the start and was stuck in ~20th place as we crested the climb on lap 1. Doh! I worked hard on lap 2 and rode through a number of folks to get into ~5th, by then Roger, Kevin and Jonny had checked out. The race was for I thought.

In my group was Steve P. from Canada, Curtis B from RI and Eric G. from VT. I REALLY felt as if I was the strongest in the group and sat up many times to try to get them all to work together. We had a few mishaps w/Eric and Steve both dumping it in bad sections that caused us all to slow. With about 2 to go I tried to get Curtis off the front (he is my athlete) while I covered Steve and Eric. I think he was a bit flat as he could not seal the deal and we rolled back to him. In the end, Curtis rolled off the front of the group and got away to get 4th...almost catching a fading Jon Bold in the process. I rolled through in 6th...

Sunday dawned as forecasted...RAINY!! My complacent racing from Saturday would be a mistake as I struggled in the slop and technical track to a 15th place. The last 1-2 laps I just "rolled around" and left VT with my tail between my legs.

One lesson learned was...NEVER give up race positions when you are trying to score points for a season long series. The difference between 4th and 6th on Sat was substantial and I might need those points at season end.

On to Gloucester!!

Monday, September 21, 2009


this past weekend marked a conversion from one season to the next!

On the multisport front; one of my favorite races took place, Lobsterman Int. Distance. This is a home course race for me, the bike passes within 3/4 mile of my house and I ride those roads daily. The swim was FRIGID this year with a big drop off over the last few weeks. Temp was near 58F with a nice chop to make it even more challenging.

I really screwed up on the navigation as I made the first turn I got a bit off course (ok..a lot off course) as the next buoy was HUNDREDS of meters down and I was sighting off the wrong buoy. I was redirected by a nice kayak'er but the damage was done! I should have swam with Thomas and Aaron but instead was 90-120sec back...ouch.

A quick T1 and I was only goal was to PUSH on the bike. the first few minutes my RPE was off and I was hurting...this could be ugly. I settled down, got my legs under me, then started to lay down a hard tempo. My goal was to ride 10-15min steady, then 10min HARD. To treat it as a bit of an "openers" workout. At the ~16 mile mark I caught the lead group. I settled for ~5min to recoup then surged hard on the climb up Pleasant Hill...the elastic was snapped. I rode a hard tempo to T2.

A quick dismount and I was into transition. run shoes on, helmet off and out I went. Second was still not into the transition yet. I ran hard for ~150 meters...then DROPPED OUT. Yep, I pulled the the lead of a race. Wow that was difficult. My plan was to do some work pre-Suckerbrook and that is it. I had to explain myself about 30 times but I had made my decision.

After hanging for a bit @ the park I headed home to get ready to CONVERT.

Sunday 9/20. Cross season starts.

Suckerbrook Cross, New Hampshire. Elite Masters 35+. It's on.
SBC is the unofficial start to the NE cross season. A good little race in Auburn NH with a fun, not too tech course.

I arrived early to shake down the new rides and get 3-4 laps on the course. I had made a decision to run my clincher rear Power Tap wheel to get some "data" along w/a normal tubular Dugast front set up. PSI was ~35 front and rear.

Front row start and I nailed the whistle timing and then proceeded to slip the pedal a bit...doh! I hit the first turn in about 10th place behind my teammate Big Al. Into the second 2x90 degree turns Sam Morse tried to make an outside pass only to fall right into Al and take them both down...I was lucky and the seas parted and I darted through only losing a bit of momentum.

The first 2-3 laps were steady/hard as we established the break of ~8 guys. A solid group with most willing to do work. About then John Bold and Kevin Hines rolled off the front and pulled a TTT to drop us all. At about the 25min mark on the downhill into the woods I felt a hard hit on a root and worried of a pinch flat. about 15 seconds later I felt the rear rim bottom out again and knew it was losing air! shit! I made it through the sand trap and out to the paved start/finish straight. back onto the tricky lefthander onto the gravel I was all over the place and barely made it to the pit. of course with out a pit person I was left to find then drag my spare bike out and re-start the chase...down about 20 seconds. I tried valiantly for next 15-20 minutes to get back but couldn't get closer than about 7 seconds from that group. With Mike Rowell and John Meerse coming from behind, I put in a hard last 2 laps to maintain 7th place and earn some $$!

so the summary goes : NEVER race cross on clinchers, I had good legs and I had bad luck...glad it wasn't a VERGE series race.

Next up, Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2009 VERGE New England Cyclocross Series in for the reports!

(and pics I hope!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

American Metal

With September on the horizon, that means it's time to get the 2009-2010 Cross rigs in order.

Last year I raced 2 x Ridley X-Fires. Full carbon, Belgium (inspired) frames.

For this year, I am sticking near home and racing Cannondale Caad 9 aluminium! WIth my good buddy Johs working in CT at C-Dale World Headquarters, I felt compelled to represent the brand!

Besides, I have raced Cannondale CX bikes in the past and had nothing but praise for them.

The builds will be as follows:
Cannondale Caad 9 Frame with SI Crank and ceramic BB
Easton Carbon Fork w/FSA HS
Alpha Q seatpost and Stem
3T Rotundo Team handlebars, 42cm
SRAM bits : Red shifters, Force Derailleurs and cassette
Parlee Carbon front der. clamps
Fizik Arione saddle and bar tape
TRP White "sex" Mag brakes
Shimano M970 Pedals
KNC 10speed Chain
reynolds dv46 carbon wheels w/a selection of Dugast and Challenge tyres.

Expected build weight is just under 16 pounds.

Here are a few pics:
In the box:

Mocked up:

Friday, June 26, 2009

summer in Maine....ha! Yea right.

I just bought a new gallon of the concentrated Simple Green solution...I had to,I had run out...FROM WASHING MY FRICKIN BIKE! Wow, was late May-early June WET. I think I heard it was the wettest June since 1903? Crazy. I am glad an IM is not on the schedule as I can handle a couple of hours out in it...but not 6+.

ok, enough weatherman BS.

Since my Nationals, Worlds, etc post, things have been rolling along per normal for a dad/husband/wanna be athlete/coach. Lots of racing going on, lots of kid time going on, and my first Fathers day home since I have had children!

You see, every year since 2004 I have had an early season camp, usually in Lake Placid, and it almost ALWAYS fell on Fathers Day. For 2009, I teamed with Peak Performance and because of a race sponsorship for them, we moved it one week forward. 1 week after Mooseman for some of the campers...ouch.

We had a solid group of athletes and 3 other knowledgeable coaches. We got in 2+ days of solid sessions with some of the group running LP half Marathon sunday AM and the rest training on their own. Look for a bunch of these guys and gals on 7/26 ripping it up!

So I got a fathers day with the was lovely.:-)

Now I am planning out the rest of the summer, including coaching stints w/USAT and USAC for some junior development camps and races. A family trip to the cape for a week...and another few days in Placid to spectate and cheer on my peeps.

If you are in town that weekend...find me! Red Sox'll know it.

Train well folks.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Nationals, Worlds and randomness.

Wow...where does 6 weeks go?

I guess when you have 3 kids, a handful of athletes and also try to be a hack athlete your time is limited.

where to start...

-the fam is doing well, hopefully the winter crud is over and we will all be healthy for a great/fun summer.

-PBMC athletes have been racing really well, check the site for more details.

-training...a little of that too, but I dont want to do too much as it might effect my coaching methods, eh!?

Now, racing...yea I did that a few times. First was Du Nationals in Richmond VA the last weekend of April. I was not too bright and I signed up for the "Double Du". This means I raced both Championships events : off-road and road. The off-road was 10K trail run, 28K mtb, and 5Km trail run. The course was VERY hard and relentless...then throw in 96F temps and I was RUINED Saturday afternoon. I did end up winning the AG though! I was 50/50 for Sunday at best. I ate a lot, I drank A LOT and I salted everything...along w/ice bags on the legs. I woke Sun and felt ok, except my feet really hurt. I decided to start the road event and see how I felt after each leg....well I plugged along at about 80% (no lie) and ended up 9th in the AG! Go figure. So I had the option for my second worlds team of 2009 but declined as I really want to focus on Cyclocross and so I need to save my "hall passes" for the fall.

Next up was the "Brunswick Worlds", PolarBear Sprint Triathlon in my home town. This was the Saturday after Richmond and I was not sure I could race until Friday. I was deep in the pain cave after the Double down there. Thursday pre-race I "jogged" 3 miles and barely made it home. Then Friday I headed to the pool and it was packed w/folks prepping for "worlds"...I felt pretty good. That PM I did a 60min spin and a light jog and decided to go for it on Saturday. Long story...I ended up second to Mike C. (again) with the best bike split of the day...again, go figure.

Next up are some small local races, then a series of Xterra offroad events this summer.

I hope you are all in!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Mid march, my snow banks are only 1 meter tall now!

Things have been rolling along nicely, lots of things in the queue at the KP casa.

1: addition. with the double down last year we needed more space, so we popped the garage roof and are building a master bed/bath/office. So we should have a real stand alone guest room now. So if you are in Maine...stop in (but not for like 3 weeks)

2:'s done for a little while. I spent 8 days at the OTC in late Feb. a couple days w/USAT coaches and 5 days w/the USAC folks. It's always cool to be on campus and see the real athletes train. Some highlights were seeing Dan O'Brien speak and the 167 college volleyball girls at a camp to make the National Team (all at least 5'8" I think!). I also had dinner with a certain "3 time olympian" and got some great insite from him...ask me about it some time!

3: family. the girls sleep through the night about 5 out of 7 days and the winter crud period is almost over. I think I need to buy stock in whoever makes amoxicyllin (sp). Erika, is back to a little activity and signed up for B2B in August. Carter is potty trainer...cha-ching...less $$ on diapers...hooray!

4: oh yea, training. I am doing that a little too. Not too much though, we dont want it to effect my coaching:-)

Train well ya all...race season approaches!


Friday, March 06, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Back to the OTC!

4th time in 10 months for me!

I know every nook and cranny of that place now. where to run, when the gym is open, etc.

This time I am back for some shadow time with the resident coaches and USA Cycling Elite coaches camp.

For me, as a father, it's hard to go away from my young family, but I consider this continued education, networking, etc and part of the gig. I need to surround myself with other good coaches and athletes to improve my game. (after a many many years of coaching, I am only about 5 years away from being good, right PS?)

If you are in the Co. Springs area and want to go for a run...6:15 outside the OTC Cafe!:-)

Train well.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Keep an eye on this dude...

He is Canadian.

He can swim well.

He can bike well....

and now his running is up to speed.

I am glad I am not racing him in 2009.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

2009 Race Season : Part Deux...scratch that!


So after a FRIGID gunstock Worlds Qualifier race, I am down in MA for the 2nd annual Weston Winter tri this Sat.

Things have been rolling along well, doing General Prep training (base..right?:-)) and feeling good.

All 3 kids are basically that is my first goal....STAY HEALTHY!

Train well y'all!

Monday, January 19, 2009

2009 Race Season

Even as a coach, I let myself race on occasion so I remember the "feel" of pain.


2009 starts this Sunday at the Channel Multisport Winter tri : in New Hampshire.

Hope I don't puke.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Speaking engagement :


Winter Base Training 202
The first in a seminar series sponsored by

Portland Velo Club, CycleMania, and the new OA Performance Center.

Annual Training Plan development
Base planning and execution
Threshold testing and training
Cross training incorporation
Power meter and HR
Strength training
Master’s considerations
…and much more.

Featuring USA Elite Cycling and Triathlon Coach Kurt Perham
Owner of
Elite triathlete and Master’s Worlds CX competitor 2008
Fresh from the Olympic Training Center

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
6pm at CycleMania

Admission is Free
All competitive cyclists, triathletes, and those interested in taking the next step up in their cycling fitness are invited.