It's autumn, which means for some nerdy bike racers, it's cyclocross season. Cyclocross is an off-road cycling discipline characterized by short, hard, intense racing that requires skilled bike handling, running through mud or sand, and quickly dismounting, carrying, and remounting your bike to navigate obstacles. After all, sometimes, carrying your bike is just faster than riding it. In Europe, cyclocross draws huge crowds despite terrible weather, but it remains a niche sport in the United States, though with increasing popularity - perhaps it's because it's one of the few sports where rank amateurs can closely mingle with (and race the same courses as) top professionals. With the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Championships to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, its popularity and domestic appeal is expected to continue rising. Previously.