When Steve Madden, of Rodale’s Cycling Group, asked the question, "Why don’t more people think bicycling is great," he and his team did a little brainstorming and came up with the BikeTown project. Rodale handed out 50 bicycles free to residents of Portland, Maine for three months and told them to, well, ride them.

What were the results? Not surprisingly the participants lost weight-a combined 750 pounds to be exact. The BikeTown project has expanded over 48 states, handing out 3,000 bikes to about 15,000 riders. So far, the project has generated 154 million media impressions, Madden said, and $6.3 million.

"The results were nothing less than spectacular," Madden said. "People lost weight, families reconnected. And six million in revenue? That’s not so bad either, right?"