If you're 77 years old, surely you've driven a car with a standard (stick-shift) transmission. Did you get confused then? Hopefully not. Well...riding a bike with multiple gears is the SAME PRINCIPLE! You start off in one of the middle to lower gears (depending on the terrain) and UP-SHIFT as speed...
If you're 77 years old, surely you've driven a car with a standard (stick-shift) transmission. Did you get confused then? Hopefully not. Well...riding a bike with multiple gears is the SAME PRINCIPLE! You start off in one of the middle to lower gears (depending on the terrain) and UP-SHIFT as speed increases. Conversely, when slowing down, you DOWNSHIFT into a lower (easier) gear. And just like a car, when you know in advance you'll be stopping, put the bike in a gear you know for a fact you can take off easily again.
A few more points... A) What's the terrain like in your "community". I have yet to see a neighborhood completely flat. Any hills whatsoever - even small hills - and you're gonna need GEARS! Within a half a mile of my own apartment, it's relatively flat. Anything more than that...NOPE. In fact, just to the west of me is a neighborhood affectionately & appropriately nicknamed "The Hill".
B) And just like buying a car, it's ALWAYS best to take a few bikes out for TEST RIDES! The first reply from "Joe" recommended going to Wally World - Walmart. Oh, PUKE! You can't TEST RIDE a single bike from a discount store - none of them. Test rides are FREE at REAL bicycle shops. Salespeople are there to provide a long forgotten word today - CUSTOMER SERVICE! And unlike the automotive business, to my knowledge, none of them work on commission.
C) You & I have something in common - both "Senior Citizens". I'm 66. You don't think I had concerns & questions when I decided to get my first good bike in years? They were all answered by either a salesperson or mechanic at a BICYCLE SHOP - not Walmart. Being somewhat mechanically inclined, I couldn't find a single bike from any discount assembled 100% correct.
D) You might want to consider a bike with internal gears within the rear hub. They usually have 3 to 8 gears and only one shifter on the R/S of the handlebar.
E) The main point being...DO NOT get into a rush. And do NOT go to a discount store.
F) Watch this YouTube video...