This article was written by Paul de Vivie. He appears to be describing his exploits on a 4 speed bicycle, probably using two chains, each running a retro-direct system of two gears. To climb a 6.4km hill with a 9.5% gradient he advocated a low gear with a développement of 2.50m (roughly 31”).
He is also developing his holistic view of cycle touring, advocating a vegetarian diet and total abstinence from alcohol. Undeniably great advice - for other people.
(Source gallica.bnf.fr/ Bibliothèque nationale de France)