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I did the first 16 years exclusively on clips. My first 3-4 years on the Shore on clips, then wanted to get better at jumping so in 2009 decided that bike park and shuttles were for flats and pedaling was for clips. Did the back n forth for a couple seasons then it was just back to all clips for everything.
The last two seasons have seen a return to flats when riding with the kiddos. Track stand skills on flats are currently at an all time high.
I don't feel like I gained any "newer betterer" skills with the time on flats, but I did fail at more tech climbs. I find when clipped in I'll grunt it out further up a gnarly climb while on flats it's "meh walk it, no rush dude" as soon a climb gets challenging.
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