updated 02/11/2011 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 02/13/2011 AT 12:00 PM ET
Four months after a horrific bike crash that left him in a coma, BMX star TJ Lavin is ready to go from one extreme to another.
With his dirt biking career finished, the host MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge is getting prepared to race off-road trucks, possibly as early as this year, he revealed to PEOPLE in an exclusive interview.
“I’m on to bigger and badder things,” said Lavin, 34, speaking to the media for this first time since his accident, after which he was in an eight-day medically-induced coma.
Lavin hopes to be in the driver’s seat by the end of the year, but says if that doesn’t happen, he will definitely be racing trucks by 2012. He knows there will be skeptics, especially considering his crash last October, but Lavin called his next endeavor a “natural fit,” saying he’s raced trucks since he was much younger.
“I know people will say I’m crazy but the safest place on that race track is in that truck,” he said. “In that truck I don’t think anything bad will happen. I think that’s the spot to be.”
Before racing, Lavin will return to being host of The Challenge, as well as continue working on the launch of Forgiven, an alcohol metalbolizer that he and his business partner started before the coma.
In the meantime, Lavin’s rehab and recovery is going well. Doctors have given him a timetable of five to 18 months until his body and brain are back to normal, but Lavin is convinced he’ll be ready long before that.
“I believe in swollen brains,” he said, “but they haven’t met the determination that I have right now.”
To read more about Lavin’s road to recovery, pick up PEOPLE, on newsstands now