Seattle’s ‘Cyclo-Croiss’ blog learns about bakeries by bike

Jeff Powers cycled, tasted and graded croissants from 30 bakeries. # k5evening

SEATTLE – An avid Seattle cyclist has discovered a way to stay fit, support local businesses and have a little fun by inventing a competition he calls Ride-On.

Jeff Powers volunteers with the Cascade Bicycle Club and enjoys having a coffee or a bite to eat on his rides.

“Sometimes being on a bike helps you find places you won’t find in a car,” he said.

When he realized there were over 30 bakeries within a five-mile radius of his house, he devised a plan to explore and taste as many croissants as possible.

He divided the bakeries, created cycle routes and rode them over the months. At each stop, he tried a croissant and graded it using a March Madness style rack.

“I had seven groups of four, then I had an eighth group which was a wild card group, which was like the best of second places,” he said.

It was an exercise he took seriously – along with his assistant taster / wife Karin.

“We looked at the butter, salinity, yeast, flakes and overall texture, and crumb – what it looked like on the inside,” Powers said.

Their takeaways are in his Blog Vini Vidi Bici (“I came, I saw, I rode a bike”) who hopes that Powers will inspire others to start their own cycling adventures.

“Wonders are around us,” he said. “Whether they’re in your backyard or your neighborhood, or across the state or across the country.”

Or, across the ocean.

Turns out Powers isn’t just good at tracking down pastries.

He is a former submarine commander who served in the Navy for 30 years and helped explore one of the great underwater discoveries in history.

“Looks like a long, long time ago,” Powers said. “I was on an expedition with Dr. Robert Ballard to explore the interior of the Titanic.”

In 1986, he was one of three naval officers who descended two and a half miles to the bottom of the ocean and deployed a small submarine to take pictures of the sunken ship.

“As far as I am from you right now (6 feet), it’s as far as the side of the Titanic was when we got there,” he said. “It was a pretty amazing experience.”

But, Powers believes in the beauty of discoveries, big and small… which brings us to its Cyclo-Croiss winner: Moonrise Bakery on Queen Anne.

He notes that the intense buttery flavor, delicious textures, and ultra-flaky crust have helped their croissants rise to the top of the fork.

The tuning also helped. There are places for bicycles and plenty of outdoor seating.

“It was the most fantastic place, the pretty covered porch, it’s a quiet street,” he said. “All of these things go together and it has made it, in our opinion, truly the best around.”

But the truth is, no bakery is actually lost. Powers loved every croissant he tasted.

“(Moonrise) is definitely the big winner of the Cyclo-Croiss competition that I did. But, there are more bakeries there, ”he said.

Moonrise Bakery is located at 1805 Queen Anne Ave. North and is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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