Thanks for the reply. I just had the floor panel and plastic mat out to have a look at that stuff. I had been used to checking the travel/swing/aux pedal pivots in my old BC 325 as they would stiffen up occasionally. On this machine they are all cables, they are all tight and seem to have full travel at the valves.
The clicking noise and the "backward 2-speed" are what had me thinking of a hydraulic issue. Also the symptom seemed to get more noticeable once the machine got hot. Prior to this I had only used it for shorter periods of time, in the colder weather and on a relatively flat paved area. There, and for the first couple minutes I ran the ex this AM the symptom was not noticeable.