Fixing It.

Our society is disposable. When something is a little worn, broken, or slightly outdated, our first inclination is to throw it away and buy a new one.
  
I'm not immune to this. Despite working for most of my life in a business of fixing things, I still grasp for a new, shiny thing when something isn't as pretty as it once was or no longer operates as it did when it was new.
  
For instance, cycling shoes. Last year in the Tour of Fairbanks, when I went down in the Prologue, I scuffed my shoe on the pavement. No big deal, but it cut the stitching at the toe, which progressively unraveled over the season. By this spring, there was a small flap sticking out. I started looking for replacements, which weren't easy to find in my size. The ones that were available cost more than I was willing to pay.
  
Then I thought about it.
  
Otherwise perfectly serviceable shoes except for this one flap. If only there was somebody out there in this great big world that fixed shoes. Some of these trades have fallen by the wayside, like TV repair, because it's just cheaper to buy a new one. However, maybe I could get the shoe stitched up for a reasonable amount and return it to service.
  
Turns out, there's still people out there that fix things. A very nice Korean man in an alterations/shoe repair/bingo parlor/alternative medicine store fixed the shoe for $12. Good as new. Probably better. New shoes would have cost many, many times that amount and not worked any better. There's one less pair of discarded shoes in the landfill.
  
Over the years I've found fixing something well (or getting something fixed) is more satisfying in the long run than just going out and buying a new one. Cheaper too. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop buying new bike stuff, but I'll probably remind myself that new and shiny isn't always better.

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