This postcard shows the legendary Vélocio (Paul de Vivie) having his breakfast. It brings back memories of any number of miserable drum ups, usually involving howling gales, driving rain, scalding hot tea and earth and grass in your sandwiches. If there was one subject that Vélocio was as passionate about as the derailleur it was the vexed topic of nutrition.
I am guessing that the photo dates from 1906, because Vélocio’s fetching outfit is so similar to that in the 1906 photo of the École Stéphanoise.
This postcard was published by Joanny Panel of Le Chemineau. On the back it carries a quote from Vélocio in 1926 saying that might be translated as ‘the Le Chemineau company has done more to propagate the multi-speed bicycle than all the other makers of gear systems’. My guess is that the postcard was published shortly after Vélocio’s death in 1930, and was part of an intense struggle between Joanny Panel of Le Chemineau and Albert Raimond of Cyclo to claim the right to inherit his mantle as the true keepers of the derailleur flame.