So, some of you may remember me posting about getting my 70 yr old dad a bicycle and first I'd like to give everyone an update before getting into a conversation about Mom.
Dad is LOVING the bike. I talked to Mom the other night and she told me Dad has been doing a lot of riding, nearly almost every day when given an opportunity. He's been very excited about the bike and is enjoying his rides around the entire neighborhood, which is actually pretty large. I want to say a trip around the neighborhood will easily net a good two to three miles, which is good for him.
I also talked to Dad and he's telling me the same thing except for, "There aren't enough gears to get through the wind." I had to tell him, "Dad, it doesn't matter if your bike has seven gears or 30 gears, wind is wind and that's the way it is. No amount of gears is going to get you through the wind."
...And now for Mom. She sees that Dad's out there riding, which is a surprise to everyone, given I thought the bike would never see any usage besides riding when the grandchildren were there on weekends. I'm getting an impression she really wants to ride but she's concerned about falling. All the comforting in the world can not change her extreme paranoia for anything that involves physical activity. She worries he's going to "throw his back out again" golfing, he's going to fall off the bike, trip down a curb, etc. She worries about herself just as much, yet finds time to go to the gym and do aerobics; yeah, not quite sure how that works. I'm surprised she isn't concerned about twisting a knee or breaking an ankle.
So anyway, I'm babbling here. To get to the point, she sees Dad riding and I'm sure she wants to take part in riding with her husband of 45 years as of May 12th of this year but she needs the proverbial "push" to get her to do it. Now, it's just a matter of choosing a bicycle for her because there's no way she'll just go choose one for herself.
Given Mom "can't" (nevermind she rode with my brother and I on the back all the time in the mid 70s) ride a bike, I'm not so sure a bike with more than a single gear would do her well, and to make matters worse, she's totally petrified of hand brakes. She saw Dad's bike had more than one gear and hand brakes and nearly had a corinary. I can't determine whether or not I should get her a bike with a coaster brake and a single speed (if they make any such thing for adults...) or go for the gusto and get her a nice women's bike with a few speeds (no front derailleur) and hand brakes.
As for pricing, I don't want to spend over $300-$350, just like with Dad. I'm leaning towards the "Cruiser" route, given the nature of their riding. Not to mention, she can feel comfortable on one because she won't have to worry about a top tube getting in the way of her getting off the bike, which is a major concern for her.
So, any suggestions for what I should be looking at for this paranoid woman? She's the type that will probably NOT go out and buy a bike but would use it if someone else got it for her.