Thanks for all the tips.... keep them coming!
1) In regards to setting the idle when the ped is hot... good call, I was setting the idle when it was cold, and that seems to have fixed the problem.
2) MaxMagnem - I appreciate the bit about the exhaust burning you being normal...
3) Maybe the ped is just a 1 speed? In which case it is sluggish getting started and up hills.... clean the carb? Is this hard to do?