Cookeville welcomes national motorcycle rally


Veteran Submariners’ Motorcycle Club in Town June 22-25


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The motorcycle acclaim continues for Cookeville as the Silent Service Motorcycle Club descends upon the city for their annual national rally. Boasting more than 400 members nationwide, the group expects this to be the highest attended national rally to date with more than 100 veteran submariners riding into town June 22 through June 25.

Following last year’s rally in Johnson City, Tenn. with an attendance of 35 riders, SSMC member Fred Fortman was appointed National Road Captain and was tasked with coordinating, planning and selecting a location for the 2017 rally. Knowing it’s history of hosting state rallies with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Harley Owners’ Group, Fortman felt Cookeville was a natural fit to serve as host of their annual event.

Fortman credits host hotel Fairfield Inn & Suites, Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau, Cookeville Police Department, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Cookeville American and Boswell’s Harley-Davidson in making his planning experience a success.

“The host hotel and the visitors’ bureau have been invaluable resources for me as I have been planning this without ever having been to Cookeville,” said Fortman.

After months of planning remotely from his home in North Carolina, Fortman made a site visit in May to test riding routes and to learn more about the area. Coincidentally, the visit was during Run For the Wall, a veterans’ motorcycle event which makes Cookeville a major stop each year on a national route to Arlington National Cemetery and Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall. During that time, Fortman saw first-hand the motorcycle hospitality and patriotism of the community.

“I wanted to find a location that was convenient, as central as possible for our members, a motorcycle friendly community, good riding, and interesting attractions,” said Fortman. “My experience coordinating our national rally in Cookeville has been wonderful.”

“We are proud to welcome the SSMC to Cookeville and Putnam County,” said Zach Ledbetter, vice president of visitor development, Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau. “It is always a privilege to host groups of this caliber who love riding, have an appreciation for our scenic backroads, historical and natural attractions, and can connect to the patriotic hearts of our community.”

During the rally, the SSMC members will join together to “Carve the Cumberland” on some of Tennessee’s most outstanding backroads. Rides to military and historical landmarks as well as Tennessee State Parks & Natural Areas will be featured along some routes.


About SSMC:

The Silent Service Motorcycle Club is a self-governing organization composed of Navy-qualified submariners riding together, while connecting as Submariners. With a membership of more than 400 members nationally and internationally, with 20+ chapters throughout the United states, the group has a credo of: To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of duties while serving their country; that their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments; pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and its Constitution; support and respect all military organizations and their families.

For more information about SSMC, go to

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