that's paul de vivie. the inventor of the derailleur! popularizer of of bike touring and randonneuring (basically, "invented" that too). aaaand ~ small wheel bike developer and advocate. all in all, a pretty cool guy.
"Traditional cyclists did not appreciate his gears. The organiser of the Tour de France, Henri Desgrange, dismissed them in L'Auto as fit only for invalids and women. De Vivie campaigned for his invention and rode every morning up the col de la République for the joy of passing riders without them. The Touring Club de France organised a challenge in 1902 in which a professional, Edouard Fischer, rode 200 km of hills without gears against a female rider, Marthe Hesse, riding a Gauloise with a three-speed derailleur. Hesse won. She "never set foot to the ground over the entire course", one paper reported. Desgrange, though, wrote:
"I applaud this test, but I still feel that variable gears are only for people over 45. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft. Come on fellows. Let's say that the test was a fine demonstration - for our grandparents! As for me, give me a fixed gear!"