North by Northwest

Article excerpt

CARBO-LOADING AND CLOTHES-HOARDING IN VANCOUVER

The Olympics may have brought the glory, but Vancouver and its surrounding regions have long been a haven for the athletic traveler. Green cityscapes, glass skyscrapers, grand mountains, and agracious embrace of diversity make it a natural choice for the sportsman - especially one who perfers style when he sweats. Settle in at the contempo, eco, and central Loden Hotel (TheLoden.com), a 77-room all-star that boasts earth-tone interiors, bathrooms with heated granite floors and Starck fixtures, and a well-equipped, garden-view gym. Borrow a hotel bike for a (mostly) flat ride on the seawall around downtown. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to cirumnavigate the city and 1,000acre, bay-view Stanley Park, site of a 10k run during the North America Outgames this past July. Then fuel up, stock up, and cool down at these spots. ANDREW BENDER

GRUB For the big win, head to tony L'Abattoir (2) (217 Carrall St., Gastown; Labattoir.ca), where steak Diane crackles with flash-fried peppercorns and confit of albacore comes with egg bits puffed like marshmallows and trompe-l'oeil croutons of smoked pork fat. At Medina (3) (556 Beatty St., Crosstown; MedinaCafe.com), fortify with a skillet breakfast like cassoulet (fried eggs on baked beans, two kinds of sausage, and double-smoked bacon), Belgian waffles with raspberry caramel sauce, or the served-all-day paella featuring curried orzo topped with watercress and avocado.

PUB Watch the Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, or Canadian Football League's BC Lions at Score on Davie (1262 Davie St.; ScoreOnDavie . …