Olive Us: Episode 6: Spring Cleaning

It’s been several weeks since we shared an Olive Us episode, and we’re so happy to have a new one today! In this episode, titled Spring Cleaning, Ralph, Maude and Olive work together to prep their bikes for a ride on a sunny day. Isn’t it lovely to work hard, then enjoy the benefits of your hard work? We love it!

Friends. They are not wearing helmets. Yikes! (If you saw the original trailer, you may remember this.) I wish I had a good excuse, but honestly, it didn’t even cross my mind. In the barn at La Cressonnière, where we filmed this, there are a dozen bikes and not a single helmet. Wearing helmets for casual bike riding doesn’t seem to be a big thing in France. If I’d been thinking, I would have stopped at the sporting goods store to pick some up. But clearly, I wasn’t thinking. My apologies in advance! That said, I hope you enjoy the show anyway. : )

For those of you who’ve emailed, asking how many episodes to expect, here’s the plan: we have one more Season 1 episode to share, and a possible bonus episode (or two!) as well. We share those over the next couple of weeks. For Season 2, earlier this month, we filmed 8 awesome episodes! They’ll start airing in late August or early September. We’re excited!

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34 thoughts on “Olive Us: Episode 6: Spring Cleaning”

  1. I don’t know, I might considered reshooting or pulling this episode. I wouldn’t share this one with my kids because if that. I don’t mean to be a downer, but twice this summer people I ride with have fallen off their bikes and cracked their helmets. Imagine of they hadn’t been wearing them. No one ever thinks it will happen to them, until it does. Just takes one fall to get a traumatic head injury…

  2. Growing up, we mostly rode in the grass (as your kids are doing) and were never told to wear helmets. I’m not interested in being overly-critical of another parent, particularly in this regard. Parents who really want children to wear helmets at all times on a bike can still instruct accordingly :)

  3. Such a lovely video, it brings back memories from my childhood and the long days my siblings and I used to spend riding our bikes through the countryside (sans helmet!) Thanks for sharing, x

  4. I have my kids wear helmets. We never did. And, I survived. Can you believe it? I also skinned both my knees every summer. And walked to school by myself-half a mile away-at age 4.
    I know I will be one of the lone voices here, but don’t sweat it.

    1. I can’t remember whether I wore a helmet as a kid. And before I watched Gabby’s video, I was a little concerned. But the thought I had directly after watching it was the same as Barefoot Hippie:

      “No biggie. They’re bigger kids, experienced in riding bikes, and riding through grass and down very empty, country roads. ”

      Yes, helmets are important. But not THE most important thing in all places.

  5. Jeannie Van Popta

    We never wore helmets as kids. Never had a problem. I’m not against helmets, just sayin’. Love Olive Us!

  6. I was just watching my kids yesterday, biking with helmets in 90 degree weather. (And remembering the feeling of cool air rushing through my hair as a kid- san helmet.) I was wishing the kids could experience that feeling, and thinking about things they will never know like phones with cords, getting up to change the channel on the tv, not being able to fast forward through commercials, no internet….am I dating my self? :0

  7. We all survived childhood without helmets! I agree with Deborah, feeling the wind through your hair while riding a bike is one of life’s great treats. :)

    I really enjoy your Olive Us episodes… something about the simple pleasures in life that never get old.

  8. Here in the UK, helmets aren’t the norm either – in fact, I’ve never worn one! I’ve only ever seen very small children – just learning – or professionals wearing them, and have never heard of a single bike-related accident (other than the very sad cases where cyclists are run over, and I doubt the majority of these could’ve been helped by a helmet).

    I don’t think I’d enjoy cycling with my head getting all hot. Actually, because I’m not used to a helmet it’d probably distract me … perhaps what makes people safe is just knowing how to ride their bike really safely (sticking to terrain they know, looking for cars/pedestrians/other riders in advance, for example), not the helmet. I’m not anti-helmets, just saying don’t worry about it! It’s a lovely episode regardless :)

    1. Helmets are definitely the norm in this bit of the UK! I’ve noticed that over the last 5 years the pendulum has swung to most people using them, not a great surprise when you consider how busy even the country lanes have become, the only people cycling on our roads without helmets tend to be over 50 or over confident teens. But there is a time and a place, we are lucky enough to live near a cycle path that is closed to cars so I tend to be less strict here.

      My partner used to cycle to work (Bristol) and was hit twice – in both cases the drivers were very apologetic and gave him assistance to the bike shop to pay for repairs. The wearing of a helmet and gloves helped prevent these minor incidents from being more serious. And talking of gloves I highly recommend these. Not from a safety point of view, just comfort. My boys love theirs.

      I’m really enjoying the Olive us series. This is a great way to collect memories for when the children are older, more fun than the usual home movies.

      1. Maybe we’re more reckless further east! :) I’m really close to London (where, notably, Boris bikes – the ones you can hire from little automated pick up points, like Velibs in Paris, for all you non-Brits – don’t come with helmets).

  9. Well, I’m glad I’m in good company in not being a huge fan of the helmet! My husband and I don’t have bikes right now (grrr – have been meaning to get them for *years* now), and I’ll admit to being hit-or-miss with requiring my daughter to wear one. There really is something about the wind rushing through your hair when you’re riding that’s the essence of my childhood summers.

    I know, I know … I’d feel differently if I (or someone I know/love) had suffered a terrible injury falling from a bike, but I survived, as did everyone I knew growing up.

    Lovely video!

  10. My two-year-old daughter has been awaiting a new episode. She loves bikes and made me play the trailer for her countless times, so this’ll be great. She definitely does mimic the kids (she tried a lemon right after she saw “Lemonade Stand”), so I will have to do some explaining about the lack of helmets. I don’t love wearing them myself, but better to be safe than sorry. Now if we could just get episodes of the kids happily brushing their teeth, washing their hair, and eating peas! Thanks!

  11. I love this episode! Such beauty in the countryside of France. I miss it so much! While I’m a big helmet wearer, I think we all need to feel the air through our hair a few times in our lives (while riding a bike). I’m sure your kids loved it! Ahhh…. the breeze!

  12. I just love these videos! What a gorgeous place to ride!

    LOL’ing at Nikki’s comment…. if you hadn’t mentioned the bike helmet thing I the post, I probably wouldn’t have even thought twice about it. Never wore a helmet as a kid, and while I think it’s a good idea, I never remember to remind my kids to put theirs on. Luckily they usually remember when I don’t.

  13. I agree, had you not mentioned the lack of helmets, I wouldn’t have even caught on! Not to discount helmets, as I know they are great and safe and all that jazz and my children have AND wear them, but they crack because they are plastic. I’m convinced if I threw it down against the concrete, it’d crack, which honestly, doesn’t seem like it’d help that terribly much if in an accident. Is it the styrofoam that helps you out? Asking a legit question. :)

    1. I think I read somewhere (though I’m by no means a physicist, or a bike expert!) that the actual benefit of a helmet IS the foam stuff, as it slows down the force of the impact so if you hit your head, your brain gets less jiggled around. And yup, I’d say plastic probably cracks easier than bone (although maybe not for younger children?)! Can’t speak from experience though – I’ve had my fair few tumbles off a bike, but always managed not to hit my head :)

  14. I assume all bike riding was done by stunt doubles, because bike riding is quite perilous and I know you wouldn’t exploit your children and flaunt their safety for the sake of a film by requiring them to pedal themselves all around France.

    I am kidding of course. I wouldn’t have noticed the helmet thing either. I grew up in the country not wearing a helmet, but my city kid always wears one on the street (though not when pedaling on the backyard patio). I don’t take helmets too seriously when no one is traveling at a fast speed, through traffic, or in unfriendly terrain.

  15. @Hayley – My (non-expert!) understanding is that cracking on impact is part of the helmet’s function of dissipating/absorbing the hit. Helmets are designed to be single-use in the sense that they are only meant to protect against one impact and then should be replaced.

  16. Lovely, reminds me of the good old days when riding a bike was the daily adventure…where do you end up, what do you find, and washing the car or your bike shows pride and it’s important to take care of your things from a young age so they last!

    Beautiful perfect coasting hills…love the little subtle smiles from the kids as they wash the bikes! It’s a quiet excitement for their upcoming ride.

  17. My husband grew up in Europe and we used to live in Switzerland. It’s the most normal thing in the world to NOT wear helmets. Recently, I was out and my husband decided to take our 9 month old out for a bike ride to calm her fussiness. He put her snugly in the Ergo against his chest and went out for a spin around the neighborhood. There’s almost no traffic. A lady stopped him and started telling him off ~ how he’s irresponsible and he put his baby in danger, blah blah blah. Let’s just say that he had a few choice words for her. When he came home, he still wasn’t aware of what she was talking about. As you probably know, in Holland (where my husband lived until he was 8), people pile their kids up on one bike and noone wears helmets. Do I think helmets are safer? Yes, of course. But I never wore them when I was small and I came out just fine. Part of the joy of riding bikes is feeling the breeze blowing through your hair. I think we sometimes take things a little too far. It upsets me a little that people contacted you about it ~ even after you made such a lovely video for all of us to enjoy. I can’t help it, that’s just how I feel. Hope you guys have a beautiful weekend!!!

  18. It’s just a cultural difference.

    I live in France and noticed that French families do not child proof their homes. I did not child proof mine either … and the kids learn (with guidance) that corners are sharp and they should not place their fingers in electric sockets.

    In the U.S. … homes with small kids have baby gates, protectors for table corners, seals for electric sockets. They even have knee pads and padded helmets for indoor use! If I use all that in France I’ll be considered strange.

    No one in my city wears a bike helmet either. The biggest cause of death on the world is still … car accidents.

  19. julia g blair

    Growing up, we never wore helmets or seat belts. I don’t think there were such things. And we took long drives and rode our bikes all the time. We’re all still alive and some of us getting close to 80! I’m still grateful for both helmets and seat belts. There are reasons for controls for sure.

  20. Gorgeous video (love the music) – you and your family are brills, Gabrielle. :) Can’t wait to see more!

    I also never wore a helmet growing up – and quite frankly, they make me hot and itchy..but being married to a physician who has seen far too many head injuries in his day from helmet-less bike wearing, he would never allow our kids to go without.
    So, we never do. xo

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