If you love the thrill of cyclecross, or are new to the sport, experts at the McPherson Cyclocross clinic and race are ready to help you boost your bike-handling skills.

The Cyclocross clinic will be from 1 to 5 p.m. on Aug. 25 at Wall Park, 500 S. Park St. in McPherson. The clinic is free and open to all ages.

“I plan to talk about focusing more on skills rather than fitness. I can give you a training plan to make you fast in cycle cross but there’s no way to do that in a two hour time span. We’ll also talk about how to get off your bike correctly, and safely, how to carry your bike, equipment, and other items like that to get ready for the upcoming cyclocross race,” said Ivan Cabezas, the cyclocross race coordinator.

Cabezas said he felt it was necessary to hold the free clinic before the race so those new to the sport could go more prepared.

“It’s a huge advantage for those that come to the clinic so they are not blindsided,” he said.

The USA Cycling Sanctioned Cyclocross race will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 8 and 9 at Wall Park — this time at 403 S. Park St.

Riders will tackle a grass course full of obstacles.

“There are many rules that go into the courses for these races. It has to be 85 or 90 percent ride able so you don’t have to get off your bike. This race will be heavily weather-dependent... if we get five or more inches of rain, it gets difficult when it gets muddy for the racers. We’ll also have planks for riders to go over and they’ll go through the creek at the park. Another element we’re adding to the race is stairs. These won’t be giant stairs but they’ll be very gradual for all riders,” he said.

While the race seems rather intimidating, Cabezas said otherwise.

“This race is very beginner-friendly. I looked at other venues to have this race, but since we’re wanting to grow and start a cyclocross community here in McPherson, we wanted it to be a little easier,” he said.

The race is broken up into categories for those who aren’t as familiar with the sport.

“Most people will begin at category 5, which is about a 20 minute race,” he said. “Other racers may be at a category 1, which is a 50 minute race.”

Women and children younger than 18 can enter the race for free.

“We’re really wanting to get kids and women out here. The atmosphere is great for cyclocross racing. It’s fun for both racers and spectators. A lot of times spectators will cheer you on if you make a mistake so for kids, it’s a great thing to participate in,” he said. “I see cyclocrossing as the gateway drug to cycling because it takes all these different elements and you put it all together it makes it much more entertaining.”

The entry fee for men in Category 5 is $10; for categories 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 4 and 5, the cost is $30. To register for the race go to https://legacy.usacycling.org/register/2018-1286.

For more information about the race, email Cabezas at ivanecabezas@gmail.com.

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.