The front wheel seems to be catching, making a sch..sch..sch noise as I travel. I presume (based on cycling as a kid) that there's a point in the rotation where the brake disc and the brake are in contact. Thing is, I can't easily get the front wheel off the floor to spin it and take a look. Both stands, side and centre, result in the front wheel planted firmly on the tarmac, and if I'm pushing it I can't be in two places at once.
It's a right and proper newbie question this one!! But what's the easiest way to get that front wheel up and spinning?
You might have a bent rim. If you hit a tank trap (pothole) or a curb (especially in a drive through) you might have bent the rim or fork. Hopefully not the latter. Personally, I'd take it to the shop and have them check it.
Put the bike on the centre stand. Get off and walk to the front of the bike. Bend your knees and bend over so one hand is on the front tyre. Grab the cowling below the windscreen and lift, using knees and back. This will raise the front wheel an inch or so and let you rotate it with one hand.
Often the reason for that imperfection are used up brakes. Steel rubbing against steel and sounds like like you wrote. Normally brakes in good conditions don't make sch..sch..sch voice even whe they rubbing against the brake disc.
Second reason could be used brake disc with. It have protruding edges which rubbing against the steel part of the brake masc. But it could be happened over 30 000km (19 000miles) or more.