BIKERS have given a big thumbs up to news that one of their favourite areas is getting its own motorbike show.
Each weekend, Ponderosa café and shop, at the top of the Horseshoe Pass, is a magnet for riders.
Hundreds of bikers head for the beauty spot and their machines fill the car parks to overflowing.
In a magazine survey, the Horseshoe Pass, just three miles from Llangollen, was named among the top five ‘ride- out’ locations in Britain and the only one in Wales.
John Clemence, who has run the café for the past 25 years, said: “It’s only in the past seven or eight years it’s really become a bikers’ centre, it just happened.
“Tales abound of riders who travel huge distances to reach the café, knowing they'll get a warm welcome and find other enthusiasts to swap tales and compare machines.
“Some come here up to seven times a week and they come from places such as the Potteries and Wolverhampton.”
On August 2-3, Llangollen’s Royal International Pavilion will host its first Motorbike Show, with displays, trade stands, safety training and many other attractions.
The man behind the Motorbike Show is David Green, whose Xuberance event management company already runs the successful Balloon Show, Gardening Show and Llangollen Food Festival.
David says he’s been inundated with messages of support from bike fans across the UK.
He said: “They love coming here on ride-outs anyway and they say their biker heaven is going to be even better now they can come to the Motorbike Show as well.”
Like most of the other riders, plant engineer Alick Mackay, from Wrexham, also has a car but at weekends switches to two wheels and heads up the Horseshoe Pass.
Sitting astride his 1,000cc Kawasaki, he said: “I do about 600 miles a week on the bike and come up here because I like getting together with my mates and socialising.
“You never know who’s going to be here but it’s like a big show here on a good day. I know a lad who comes from Swansea every other weekend.”
Glyn Rogers, 69, from Gresford, is typical of the breed of “born again bikers”, having returned to riding following the death of his wife four years ago.
He said: “I had my first bike in 1956 and kept my licence until 1974 when the family came along.”
He now owns an 865cc Triumph Bonneville and is one of a group of 10-12 close friends who visit the Ponderosa several times a week, sometimes before heading west to places such as Betws y Coed and Snowdonia.
Proudly wearing his “Riding High” polo-shirt, the emblem of Ponderosa bikers, he said he and his friends appreciated the atmosphere and welcome.
Molly Mae Spalding is already a biking fan – at the age of nine.
Grinning broadly, she sat proudly behind her dad as he showed off his Honda Goldwing GL 1800 tricycle, a rare model which, when new, could cost £25,000.
Her dad, Stephen, a former Welsh motorcross champion, has retained his love of machines despite a horrific accident near Bala six years ago which left him with an artificial leg and a badly damaged arm.
The 52-year-old from Llanfaircaerenion began riding at the age of nine and has owned a series of bikes including Goldwings, Triumphs and BSAs.
He joked: “Now Molly Mae and my wife fight to come out with me. It’s great there’s to be a show in Llangollen because there are so many enthusiasts around here.”