THERE'S a blaze of yellow around York - and it's not simply the spring burst of daffodils cascading down the embankment of the city's iconic walls.
Yet more of the golden hue is provided by the judicious stationing of bicycles around York, no doubt mirrored in all their gaudy glory in Selby, Malton and Pickering, to mark the route of the first Tour de Yorkshire, whose cycling cavalcade careers around the Broad Acres over the Bank Holiday weekend of May 1 to May 3.
It's a deserved celebration of the most impressive follow-up to last year's Tour de France which hurtled across the county, memorably including York city centre, for the first time in the race's illustrious history.
Millions of cycle enthusiasts, and let's be honest, many millions of simply sports-mad zealots, greeted the world's most stamina-sapping sporting contest. Magnifique, it undoubtedly was.
But while the natural cycling progression has resulted in the Tour de Yorkshire, an event that strictly on cash alone could ramp up more than £40 million to to the county's coffers, the very naming of the new addition to the cycling calendar, is hardly one to rejoice in.
Doh - I mean "de". What the hell is all that about? This is not France.
It may sound obvious, but the Tour de France essentially, even existentially given such Gallic grey-matter grapplers as Marcel Proust and Jean Paul Sartre, is French.
Okay, the annual extravaganza occasionally strays across the Channel and also into Spain, Italy and the Low Countries to host the Grand Départ, which was embraced so brilliantly by Yorkshire last summer, but it is an event that is as exclusively French as the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, Edith Piaf and Napoleon.
So why, oh why, has Yorkshire's first county-wide high-calibre cycling race, which has attracted the cream of the continent's cyclists, been saddled with a French word to connect two nouns.
The race on the opening May Bank Holiday surely has no need to be so blatantly forelock-tugging to the French. It's not as if I'm being anti-French. It's not also as if I'm being pro-Yorkshire, especially as I am reminded by my Yorkshire-born wife of almost 32 years that I am only allowed here on license.
I often reply that because I hail from the other side of the Pennines that I am here as a "kultural ambassador". And hailing from Liverpool, I remind Diane that us Scousers inreverently joke that the first Frenchman in England was, clearly, the well-known Pier Head. Oops.
But seriously folks, just what is wrong with the race being called the Tour of Yorkshire? And to echo that point, why are the bikes all yellow, as they were - rightly so - last year for the Tour de France?
Anyone aware of Yorkshire's flag knows that the colours are blue and white, so the fleet of celebratory bikes surely should have been coloured in blue and white. Maybe the powers that be had a job lot of yellow paint, or because of austerity and council budget shortfalls could not run to the county's blue and white favours.
When the Tour de France hit Yorkshire's streets and lanes and countryside last summer the county did not refer to the Grand Départ as 'the reet grand depart'. The Tour de France was treated with due reverence and respect for its tradition and status.
Having a Concacaf
THERE are times when world football is just an outright joke.
One of those occasions sprang forth from the meeting of FIFA's Concacaf congress, the gathering of Caribbean and Central nAmerican countries.
Under-fire FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is seeking an unprecedented fifth term as the game's world top honcho, was likened by the Concacaf delegates as a combination of - wait for it - of Jesus Christ, Nelson Mandela, Moses, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King.
Now, while that aforementioned sextet may not have comprised the greatest six-a-side football team (though Moses surely would be superb as a defence-parting midfielder schemer) - they deserve far better than to be bracketed in the same hemisphere, never mind the same breath, as Herr Blah-Blah-Blatter.
As I said, football at its highest level can so often shoot itself in the foot.