Personally I prefer to check my bike after a cycle. Usually I will power-wash the bike, wax it and lubricate it. I give it a quick check over to make sure it is ready for the next trip. That way I have no surprises on the day of the cycle. The basic maintenance for a bike is to clean and lubricate it. Keeping derailleurs clean and free of dirt and oiled will hugely increase their lifespan. As a general rule, you oil fast moving parts and grease slow moving parts. Usually the better the components are on the bike, the less maintenance they require.