We have to thank a weary WWII veteran eager to stay in shape in the off season by riding his bike through pastures and muddy fields and such. Thus was born cyclocross which has been called the NASCAR of bike racing.
The race is fun for spectators and cyclist alike. It is fun for the spectators because each lap of the roughly hour long race takes about seven minutes or so. For the rider the race is about an hour; on each of the laps the rider will dismount and carry his bike over wooden obstacles right around 10% of the time. That means he or she is riding 90% of the time.
The rider with the lowest time is declared the winner and accumulates points. There are several classes of riders - consult the rules and regulations to find out where you might be.
Right now cyclocross is the fastest growing cycling events. That is why the governing body of cyclocross has decided to hold the world championships in Lexington KY in 2013. The first time this has been help outside of Europe.
Get your cowbell and view a race and then participate. See you in Kentucky.