THE generosity and kindness of a West Fife cycling stalwart has been remembered after tributes poured in after his death.

Sandy Wallace, who for more than 30 years ran his successful bike shop business in Inverkeithing, died on Sunday following a short illness.

Dunfermline-born Commonwealth Games cyclist Rab Wardell; Dunfermline Cycling Club and Scottish Cycling, the sport's governing body, were among those who paid tribute to Sandy, who also supported riders down the years through his own team, Sandy Wallace Cycles.

A keen rider in his own right, Sandy competed in many disciplines to an extremely high level, and in 2012 completed the 'Tour de Force', an event which cycles the race route of the Tour de France one week ahead of the professionals.

Paying tribute, Rab, who competed in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and, last year, set a new record for cycling the West Highland Way, said: "He was certainly a big part of my cycling career and he was very close to our family as well. My brother was the store manager at Sandy Wallace Cycles for a number of years, and both David and I were in the cycling club.

"I guess it was a key moment in my life to be honest because cycling is what I do. It's a huge part of what I do and who I am, and none of that would've happened without the support, encouragement and passion of Sandy Wallace.

"I remember the first race I did as part of the club. I'd actually had some problems with my own bike and Sandy loaned me and let me use his bike for the race. It was my first race at the Scottish Cross-Country Mountain Bike series. The first race I ever did, I borrowed Sandy's; it was a fantastic carbon fibre super high-tech bike that I could never imagine actually having myself, and Sandy let me use it for that race.

"He was really generous. He was running a business but he was really generous in the sense that he would support riders and really be encouraging. One of those things that Sandy would always do is that he walked the talk as well. He would've been in his 50s when we started but he was still as strong as an ox. He led from the front; he would ride the mountain bike races, he would ride time trials, he would do all sorts of stuff.

"You knew he lived and breathed it. It's really sad to say goodbye to him."

Ryan Easson, owner of Ryan's Bike Surgery in Inverkeithing, took on his first job with Sandy Wallace Cycles, and said that Sandy had been a "big part of my very own shop".

"I've never known anyone like Sandy, from his absolute love and passion to cycling and helping anyone that is into the sport, his amazing kindness and generosity, especially to me and my family through the years, and hundreds of wild stories he always had about himself and things he had done," he said.

"He has lived a very interesting life and it is terribly sad to have been cut short. I will forever miss you Sandy. Rest in peace my friend."

Dunfermline Cycling Club said: "Sandy has been part of Fife Cycling from the age of 13 and over the years has competed in many disciplines of the sport to an extremely high level. For over 30 years, he ran Sandy Wallace Cycles his bike shop in Inverkeithing, and he had a cycling team of the same name which produced many top riders.

Scottish Cycling added: "It is with great sadness that over the weekend we lost a great man in Sandy Wallace. He leaves behind a great legacy, having raced at the highest level for decades, before generously supporting and nurturing the next generation."