I have a 2000 Miata with a 5-speed manual. I park it in first gear with the handbrake on. The last few times I've started it, the gearshift has been hard to move into neutral and from there into reverse.
When I started it today the engine struggled to start, and when the gearshift finally popped free from first to neutral, it suddenly sounded normal. It seems like the clutch isn't fully disengaging despite the pedal being all the way down. The gearshift stiffness seems to clear up after a few minutes of driving.
The car had a new clutch when I bought it about 9 years ago. It gets driven for a few miles every couple of days, and I put about 1500 miles on it on average each year. Is it time for a new clutch, or is something wrong with the pedal linkage?