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Instructions for using gears on 12 speed Mesa runner

I am a 76 year old woman recovering from knee replacement surgery. Have not ridden a bike for 35 years or so. For therapy purposes as well as enjoyment I have purchased a Schwinn 1987 Mesa Runner. It is in great condition and a joy to ride, however never having ridden a bike with gears, I am unable to use them effectively. Can you help?

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Not familiar with the exact model of bike but normally you start riding in a low gear. As you wish to speed up or find it easy to push the pedals just change up in gear and keep pedaling and the gear chain will move to the next gear cog. The secret is to keep pedaling when you select a gear either up or down and the gear will change. Hope this is of benifit.

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