It’s a bank holiday weekend in Ireland – so I’ve been pottering about today, catching up on stuff I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

One of those things, was working out why the front wheel of my recumbent wasn’t spinning quite as truly as it should. On first look, it seemed that there might have been some gunk between the pads of the disk brake and the rotor, slowing things down a bit.

I removed the front wheel, cleaned the pads, but no – that wasn’t it. Now – to put things in context, I haven’t had a bike with disk brakes before, and I definitely haven’t had any experience with hydraulic disk brakes (can you see where this is leading ? I’ve since learnt more). Never afraid to let new technology daunt me, I started tinkering around trying to see what was wrong. Taking off the wheel and pads again, it looked like one of the pistons in the brake wasn’t moving in it’s cylinder properly.

Thinking that the allen nut on the side of the brake would allow me to adjust that, I opened it a bit to see if that would help. Bad move – the magic blue liquid that made my brake work escaped, so I’ve now got no front brakes. Jan has since suggested that there could be an air bubble trapped behind the piston on one side, which would explain the somewhat erratic behaviour of the brake – and to fix that, I’d need to have bled the system anyway – so no harm done.

Given it’ll take a while for the spare parts to arrive, I took down my old bike from the rafters of my shed where it was hanging, and set about pumping tyres, lubing chains and generally making it fit for the road again.

I took the Rockhopper out for a quick spin this afternoon and, after 10 months of cycling nothing but my recumbent, it feels really weird – and slightly uncomfortable (did I really cycle that thing for 10 years?). Tomorrow’s commute into the office will tell all. I’ve gotten happily used to a really comfy seat, front and rear suspension, panniers and mudguards all round and a terrific view of the road – I’m not looking forward to a nasty wedgie seat, a crick in my neck and all other diamond frame maladies…