It's October. To some of us that means wrapping up warm for bike rides under the cool autumn glow. To others it means hitting the gym, or breaking it all up with a bit of running. To some maniacs out there it means racing laps in a muddy field - or cyclocross racing.

Cyclocross is a really accessible form or bike racing in which riders set off together, completing laps of the same course until the bell goes. Anyone can take part, but to get the best results there are a few cyclocross skills you can master.

We're working with cyclocross coach Huw Williams to bring you video guides that will help you to master the essential cyclocross skills. We’ve already covered cyclocross dismounts and drop offs and steep descents.

Next up - we've got how to shoulder the bike...

When and Why Shoulder your Cyclocross Bike?

There will be sections of a cyclocross course where you may have to carry your bike. Sometimes for short durations, such as clearing a plank where simply lifting the bike momentarily might be sufficient. However extended sections where riding is impossible such as steep hill run ups or extended flights of steps demand that the bike be lifted and carried on the shoulder efficiently and comfortably.

How to Shoulder your Cyclocross Bike in a Race

  • With the bike next to you on the right, bend the knees and reach down with your right arm, through the frame and place your hand under the downtube, slightly forward of the chain rings. Your left hand should be on the end of the left handlebar.
  • Straightening up into a standing position, push your elbow through the frame, lifting the bike onto your shoulder and find a comfortable position on the soft area between the neck and shoulder
  • Now move the right hand under the downtube and replace the left hand with your right hand, supporting the frame in the crook of your elbow while the left hand is free to aid with balance when running.
  • When placing the bike back down, simply repeat the process in reverse, ensuring you place it smoothly on the ground rather than dropping it, which can cause the chain to come off.

Looking for more hints and tips? Check out...

Cyclocross Skills: How to Dismount

Cyclocross Skills: How to Handle Drop Offs

5 Tips to get you off to a flying start in cyclocross

Ask The Expert: Annie Simpson on Getting into Cyclocross