Riding in a group can take a little getting used to at first but don't worry if you've not done this before, we'll explain what to do.
Perhaps the most important thing when riding in a group is to ensure everything takes place in a smooth and steady way and to communicate amongst the group. This means calling out pot holes and other hazzards, not braking suddenly and not accelerating away when you get on to the front of the group.
In most situations the group will ride two abreast and this is perfectly legal
Obviously some common sense needs to be used to work out if and when we need to single out to let cars overtake but on the majority of UK roads cycling two abreast is allowed. We will shout forward if a car is waiting ("Car Up") and if the road is too narrow for the car to pass the group safely while we're two abreast we'll single out. However, if there is enough room but there are oncoming cars preventing the overtake we probably won't single out.
So why ride two abreast? Quite simply, it's safer.
Riding two abreast means that overtaking cars need to do so properly and not in the same lane as us. If we ride single file all the time, drivers could be tempted to overtake us in places where it's not safe to do so and get too close.
Also, for motorists, it's quicker to overtake a group riding two abreast as the number of cyclists will be half the number riding single file.
British Cycling have an excellent guide to riding in a group.
Once you're confident about riding in a group, we'll show you how to ride through and off. This involves rotating the group in a constant and steady way such that everyone gets a brief turn on the front. This makes the ride easier for everyone and is especially useful when riding into a headwind. It's also a skill you'll need if you're thinking about road racing.
Here's a video showing how it's done.
British Cycling have an excellent video on how to ride through and off.