Sutton Massachusetts

Blackstone Valley Bike Path Millbury

The Blackstone Valley Bike Path in Millbury, Massachusetts is the perfect location for walking, jogging, or biking. It wends along the Blackstone River and is well paved. Here are details and photos on this lovely path from our trip there in April 2012.

The southernmost parking lot on the Blackstone Valley Bike Path is located immediately off of Route 146, at the Millbury Mall exit. Where you go west to get to the mall, going east on that same road takes you - in only a few hundred feet - to the bike path parking lot. Here is a view of the parking lot from the bike path.

Blackstone Valley Bike Path Millbury

In this image, the road you can see to the left is that road that leads into the mall. If you turned left out of the parking lot, and drove along the road, you would end up at the Millbury Mall.

The green sign on the right says "end", as in this is the southernmost end of the existing bike trail.

On April 3, 2012 we did a pedometer test at the bike path. My boyfriend and I both had two pedometers, one on each hip. They were:

Lisa 1: Omron
Lisa 2: Biggest Loser SlimCoach

Bob 1: iPod Nano
Bob 2: BodyMedia

We have different legs so clearly we can't compare the steps from one person to the other. However, we had already done ample testing with the Omron and iPod Nano and trusted their counts. We were now looking to see how well the SlimCoach and BodyMedia did in a typical walking environment.

Testing these is a little tricky because the SlimCoach and BodyMedia don't show their step counts on the device at all. You have to plug the device in at your home computer to see the total value. So we had to wear all four from the moment we left the house, and then find a way to account for any walking we did getting to and from the bike path.

Omron - 0 at house, 74 at bike path start
SlimCoach - 246 at house, ? at bike path start (assume +74)

iPod Nano - 0 at house, 204 at bike path start
BodyMedia - 224 at house, ? at bike path start (assume +204)

So we began at that starting parking lot at 16:22. Then we walked along the path. We crossed over 146 and meandered down along the river. It was a lovely day; we saw numerous mallard pairs paddling along in the water. We passed joggers, families, solo walkers, and dog walkers. It was a great day to be out enjoying nature.

Eventually we got to the Worcester-Millbury line. This is hard to miss - it's a solid white-stone maker all the way across the path:

Blackstone Valley Bike Path Millbury

Again we cannot see what the SlimCoach or BodyMedia think at this point. We only know:

2885 steps total
2811 steps from bike path start
My stride length is 2.29 feet per step
... so 2811 x 2.29 feet = 6437 total feet
at 5280 feet in a mile, that means the distance from the Millbury parking lot to that stone line is 1.2 miles.

iPod Nano: 3046 steps total
2842 steps from bike path start
Bob's stride length is 2.22 feet per step when he walks with me
... so 2842 x 2.22 feet = 6309 total feet
Again, dividing by 5280 feet in a mile, that gets the distance at 1.2 miles

So at this point we turned around and headed back to the parking lot. Be warned - if you pass by the river area in the late afternoon, wild swarms of tiny gnats appear! They were in thick clouds. Quite impressive.

Back at the lot, we ended up with:

5651 steps total
2766 steps from stone line
Comes out to 1.2 miles

iPod Nano:
5858 steps total
2812 steps from stone line
Comes out to 1.2 miles

I do have a rolling wheel distance measure on order, to verify, but I think we're quite satisfied that the distance is 1.2 miles :)

So then we had to go back to the house to do the final sync of all four devices and see how they all compared with each other.

Omron: 5700 steps total
SlimCoach: 6092 - 246 = 5846 steps total
2% variance

iPod Nano: 5945 steps total
BodyMedia: 6158 - 244 = 5914 steps total
less than a 1% variance

So both devices seem to do well when compared with the known good pedometers.

Blackstone Valley Bike Path

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