Do we need to use the past tense of the verb in bold in the following example where the location of some object is described?
As he explained, the road winds/wound through a small village, over a bridge, across a river, after the rail bridge the road forks.
If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)
I would stick with the present tense on the assumption that the road still goes the same way so it's true in the present. The past tense wouldn't be wrong if you were writing a story in the past tense and you wanted to describe your journey. If you're reporting what "he explained", then I would stick with the present.
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.