But you guys don’t understand! The writer and singer of this song, Ryan Adams, met up with Bob Dylan(where side note Bob Dylan accidentally scratched Ryan with his freakishly long finger nails) for a dinner and he asked Ryan
"What the fuck is a winding wheel"
and ryan answered
"I dunno" at the time because he was star struck by meeting Bob Dylan. But in a later interview Ryan brought up the encounter and said
"All I could think was do I shit my pants now or later? And looking back there was a million responses that would have been better than what I said. A winding wheel is a metaphor for the ultimate soul mate, The person that is with you for the rest of your life guiding you when your lost and inspiring you when you need inspiration. A driving force, the reason you keep going.”