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So, you're 26 years old, you've been laid off from your job as a Genworth Financial analyst and you have a yen for world travel. What do you do next?
Maybe you ask four friends to help you assemble an ice-cream truck, ship it to Europe and then drive it to the land of Genghis Khan.
So goes the story of Joe Pyrek, who is being joined by fellow Richmonder Andrew Ritz and three other friends from around the country on a 10,000-mile journey known as the Mongol Rally, which supports charities doing work in Mongolia.
Later this month, Pyrek and Ritz will drive the truck of their team — the Rolling Cones (rollingcones.net) — to Norfolk, where it will be shipped to London, the rally's starting point. Almost 400 teams are entered, with each one raising a minimum of $1,000. The rally begins on July 18, and Pyrek estimates that it will take his team 35 days to complete the trip.
Pyrek says that in addition to the team's fundraising of between $2,000 and $5,000, the Rolling Cones will auction their vehicle — most recently used as a newspaper-delivery truck for the Cherry Hill, N.J., Courier Post — in the destination city, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The trip will take the team through 21 countries, including the second-highest highway in the world. Pyrek figures that will be higher than any other ice-cream truck has ever traveled. "It will just be one of those funny things to say one day," he adds.