I thought this was great, Ryan Leech was interviewed by James Wilson and they discussed the travesty that riders can't ride flat pedals or are being pushed towards flats too early or even worse right from the git go!
I totally agree with them! Riders need to learn and practice on flats to become better riders!
Check out the write up and podcast here
And I challenge you this season to purchase a pair of mid range flat pedals and pick up a pair of decent shoes, at a minimum skate shoes if not a pair of Teva's or 5.10's and ride them exclusively for 30 day! I can guarantee you that it will exploit your weaknesses and improve your riding skills!
Keep it real!