Welcome to my personal BIG page! Updated: 04/10/2013
My name is Helmuth Dekkers and I was born in Oisterwijk (The Netherlands) on the 6th of June 1964. I still live in Oisterwijk, a small town known for its woods and the small lakes that you can find here. Some winters these lakes freeze and then I enjoy skating on natural ice. It's fantastic! The next best thing after uphill cycling ;-). I am married since 1986 to Patrica and we have 2 children, Marloes (1989) and Erwin (1991). And we are all BIG members (246, 313, 765 and 999). It's like a virus! I used to cycle together with my best friend on a racing bike when I was 12 years or so. And hence we watched professional cycling too of course. I was glued to the television when I saw Hennie Kuiper (1977&1978), Joop Zoetemelk (1979), Peter Winnen (1981&193), Steven Rooks (1988) and Gert-Jan Theunisse (1989) winning the Tour de France stage finishing at Alpe d'Huez. These victories planted a little seed as years later, when the Dutch victories at Alpe d'Huez were forgotten (almost), while watching yet another stage finishing in Alpe d'Huez I indicated to Patricia I would like to cycle up 'l Alpe d'Huez myself before I would turn 40. She replied that I'd better start training again in that case and so I started cycling again in 2003 to train for this ascent and both me an Marloes cycled up l'Alpe d'Huez that year. Just before we went to France for our summer holiday and l'Alpe d'Huez a collegue of me pointed out that l'Alpe d'Huez was in fact not that tough. What? I found out he had read an article abouth the BIG in the newspaper ( http://members.ziggo.nl/phme.dekkers/BIG_article.html ). I got interested and contacted BIG. I received an Excel file called the Passacol with loads of data of the ascents that are in the BIG's list. I was curious about how BIG would compare 2 ascents and then found that the amount of Europoints was incorrect for some BIGs. That started of a mail exchange and that's how I really got involved in the BIG challenge. Since 2003 I have been claiming BIGs steadily over the years and now have more than 200 BIGs in 21 different countries and 2 different continents even. An average of roughly 19 BIGs a year. In 2009 I completed the cycling of all BIGs in Zone 3 (BeNeLux) and I managed to collect more than 100 BIGs alltogether. In 2013 I cycled my 200 BIG and managed to cycle all BIGs in zone 4 (Germany) except 1 (Waseberg) which I cycled in 2014 25 times in one day. I guess that the Dutch, myself included, are obsessed with uphill cycling due to the victories on l'Alpe d'Huez in the past. And even more as The Netherlands is mostly very flat.
Tip: Go there during the autumn and enjoy the colored leafs and the nice views on the Semois and the village Frahan from Rochehaut.
Tip: Don't forget to visit the Flydalsjuvet on your way back to Geiranger!
Tip: Another good option is Bergeries des Grotelles on Corse.
Tip: Cycle back via the D211a from la Garde to Le Freney d'Oisans. It clings to the rock face and offers beautiful views on the Romanche river. Or drive back via the wild scenery of the Col de Sarennes to Frenez d'Oisans.
Tip: Look back when you have reached the summit as there is a spec-ta-cu-lar view from the top back on the ascent with all the hairpins.