(Mark Todd)

Power Rangers

James Glave

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HAVING LONG HELD A PLACE America’s heart for its endearing 1950s nerdiness (you gotta love those hats), the National Park Service will select a group of its rangers to look a tad dorkier this April when they start tooling around on Segway Human Transporters—those much-hyped self-balancing scooters, also known as “Ginger,” unveiled late last year by inventor Dean Kamen.

As part of a field test run jointly by the Park Service and Segway, rangers are scheduled to spend two weeks trying out nine of the Jetsonsesque gadgets in two as-yet-unselected national parks, to figure out if Segways offer a no-emissions, short-hop alternative to pickup trucks. Tourists can no doubt imagine more thrilling uses—like buzzing the rim of the Grand Canyon, no walking required. But the machines will be strictly off-limits to park visitors. “There’s no way we could allow these things on our trails,” says NPS transportation guru Lou DeLorme, who’s overseeing the test run. “People would get hurt.”

From Outside Magazine, Mar 2002 Lead Photo: Mark Todd

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